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Characteristics and provenances of rare earth elements in the atmospheric particles of a coastal city with large-scale optoelectronic industries

Yan, Yu, Yu, Rui-lian, Hu, Gong-ren, Wang, Shan-shan, Huang, Hua-bin, Cui, Jian-yong, Yan, Yan
Atmospheric environment 2019 v.214 pp. 116836
atmospheric chemistry, business enterprises, coal, combustion, industry, particulate emissions, provenance, rare earth elements, China
Rare earth elements (REEs) are typical materials in optoelectronic industries; however, the effects of optoelectronic industry on the presence of REEs in atmospheric particle (AP) have seldom been reported. Thus, we investigated the provenance of REEs in APs collected from a coastal city in Southeast China, where there are many optoelectronic enterprises. The results showed that the concentrations of Eu, Tb, and Y were highly elevated in the APs from S23–S25 sites near an optoelectronic company which uses REEs for LED production. Furthermore, significant positive Eu and Tb anomalies were observed in the samples collected from S23–S25 sites. Ternary La–V-Eu, La–V–Tb and La–V–Y plots were used to discriminate the S23–S25 site samples from those from other sites. The 143Nd/144Nd versus LREE/HREE plot suggested that the REEs in the APs were mainly affected by vehicle emission and coal combustion.