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Continuous Observation of the Mass and Chemical Composition of PM2.5 using an Automatic Analyzer in Kumamoto, Japan

Category: PM2.5, Atmospheric Aerosols and Urban Air Quality

Volume: 17 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 444-452
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.07.0290
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Kentaro Misawa1,2, Ayako Yoshino2, Akinori Takami 2, Tomoko Kojima3, Shiori Tatsuta4, Yuta Taniguchi4, Shiro Hatakeyama4

  • 1 Graduate School of Science and Technology, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
  • 2 Center of Regional Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
  • 3 Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan
  • 4 Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan


Continuous observation of the mass and chemical composition of PM2.5 were performed.
The factors leading to high PM2.5 concentrations were investigated and categorized.
Transboundary pollution, local pollution and volcanic activity were the resources.


Due to economic growth in China, emissions of gaseous components from factories and automobiles have been increasing, which has resulted in severe air pollution. During the winter and spring seasons, Japan, which is on the leeward side of the Asian continent, is on the receiving end of this increasingly problematic transboundary air pollution. In this study, the mass concentration and chemical components of the particulate PM2.5 were continuously observed using an automatic analyzer at Kumamoto on the west coast of Japan from October 2014 to March 2015. A greater number of high PM2.5 days were observed in winter than in autumn. This seasonal change in concentrations was believed to be due to transboundary air pollution traveling from the Asian continent due to seasonal monsoons. The analysis of the chemical composition of PM2.5 supported this idea. The factors leading to high PM2.5 concentrations were investigated and categorized into transboundary air pollution, local air pollution, and volcanic activity based on the analysis of sulfate (SO42–) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations and model simulations. The average concentration of chemical components showed that local air pollution also influenced air quality in Kumamoto .   


ACSA Source apportionment Transboundary air pollution Volcanic activity Local air pollution

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