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Characteristics of Major PM2.5 Components during Winter in Tianjin, China

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Volume: 9 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 105-119
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2008.11.0054
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Weifang Li 1,2, Zhipeng Bai2, Aixia Liu3, Jun Chen1, Li Chen2

  • 1 Institute of New Energy Material Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
  • 2 State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Urban Ambient Air Particulate Matter Pollution Prevention and Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
  • 3 Tianjin City Institute of Meteorological Science, Tianjin 300074, China


Fine particles were simultaneously collected at an urban, industrial and coastal site in Tianjin, China from December 28, 2006 to January 31, 2007 to investigate the chemical characteristics of major PM2.5 components during an annually occurring season of high pollution. Water-soluble inorganic ions, organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were analyzed. Daily average concentrations of PM2.5 ranged from 61.5-566.8 μg/m3 with an average of 223.0 μg/m3. The sum of the measured species accounted for about 60% of the PM2.5 mass with organic aerosols and sulfates being the two largest contributors. Total carbon (OC + EC) constituted 23.3%, 25.5% and 19.2%, and secondary ionic species (SO42-, NO3- and NH4+) constituted 27.6%, 19.0% and 25.9% of PM2.5 at the urban, industrial and coastal sites, respectively. The PM2.5 composition in the industrial area was influenced by local industrial emission sources. About 80% of the total carbon existed in the form of OC, and the average OC/EC ratios were 4.5, 5.6 and 4.8 at the urban, industrial and coastal sites, respectively. Secondary organic carbon (SOC), estimated by the minimum OC/EC ratio, accounted for about 37.2%~50.3% of total OC. High Cl- concentrations averaging 9.3 μg/m3 were found, which mostly originated from anthropogenic sources, rather than from sea-salt aerosols.


PM2.5Chemical composition Water-soluble ions Organic carbon Elemental carbon

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