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Title: Rare earth element components in atmospheric particulates in the Bayan Obo mine region

The Bayan Obo mine, located in Inner Mongolia, China, is the largest light rare earth body ever found in the world. The research for rare earth elements (REEs) enrichment in atmospheric particulates caused by mining and ore processing is fairly limited so far. In this paper, atmospheric particulates including total suspended particulate (TSP) matter and particles with an equivalent aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm (PM{sub 10}) were collected around the Bayan Obo mine region, in August 2012 and March 2013, to analyze the levels and distributions of REEs in particles. The total concentrations of REEs for TSP were 149.8 and 239.6 ng/m{sup 3}, and those for PM{sub 10} were 42.8 and 68.9 ng/m{sup 3}, in August 2012 and March 2013, respectively. Enrichment factor was calculated for all 14 REEs in the TSP and PM{sub 10} and the results indicated that REEs enrichment in atmosphere particulates was caused by anthropogenic sources and influenced by the strong wind in springtime. The spatial distribution of REEs in TSP showed a strong gradient concentration in the prevailing wind direction. REE chondrite normalized patterns of TSP and PM{sub 10} were similar and the normalized curves inclined to the right side, showing the conspicuous fractionationmore » between the light REEs and heavy REE, which supported by the chondrite normalized concentration ratios calculated for selected elements (La{sub N}/Yb{sub N}, La{sub N}/Sm{sub N}, Gd{sub N}/Yb{sub N}). - Highlights: • TSP and PM{sub 10} samples were collected to analyze the levels and distributions of REE. • Enrichment factors indicated that REE enrichment was caused by anthropogenic sources. • The distribution of REEs showed a strong gradient in the prevailing wind direction. • Obvious fractionation between LREEs and HREEs is observed in atmospheric particulates.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22337283
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research; Journal Volume: 131; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CHINA; CHONDRITES; CONCENTRATION RATIO; ENRICHMENT; MINES; ORE PROCESSING; RARE EARTHS; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; TOTAL SUSPENDED PARTICULATES