Magnetic and microscopic characterization of anthropogenically produced magnetic particles: a proxy for environmental pollution

The magnetic parameters such as magnetic susceptibility (χlf), isothermal remanent magnetization, coercivity spectra, hysteresis loop, and thermomagnetic curves (κ-T) were evaluated for discriminating the pollution sources around Kolaghat thermal power station (KTPS), West Bengal, India. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis also carried out to explore the morphological characteristics. The magnetic measurements revealed pseudo-single-domain magnetite with minor titanomagnetite(s), maghemite, and hematite/goethite. SEM analysis portrayed varied morphological properties of APMs like spherules (viz. smooth, hollow, and meld-like spherules), which are usually coupled with fossil fuel combustion, and irregular-shaped APMs, which are generated from traffic emission and natural background input. Elemental composition as interpreted by EDS analysis displays varied composition of APMs, which indicates the influence of industrial and traffic emissions in the study area. This study exhibited that magnetic and microscopic characterization of APMs can be used as an appropriate tracer for soil and dust pollution, which provides significant perspectives for further detailed chemical mapping.

Citation:

Maity, R., Venkateshwarlu, M., Mondal, S., Kapawar, M. R., Gain, D., Paul, P. (2020). Magnetic and microscopic characterization of anthropogenically produced magnetic particles: a proxy for environmental pollution. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. Published online 26 August 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-020-02902-x.