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Distribution and Source of Chemical Elements in Size-Resolved Particles in Zhengzhou, China: Effects of Regional Transport

Category: Urban Air Quality

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.04.0126
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Shenbo Wang, Qishe Yan, Fei Yu, Qun Wang, Liuming Yang, Ruiqin Zhang, Shasha Yin

  • College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Research Institute of Environmental Science, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China


Distribution of elements in size-resolved particle was investigated at an urban site in Zhengzhou.
Toxic elements accumulate in the particle of smaller than 1 μm.
The difference with other cities was compared.
Potential sources of elements in size-resolved particle were identified.
The effects of regional transport on the source of elements were discussed.


To investigate the characteristics of elements in size-segregated atmospheric particulates, samples were collected using a 14-stage electrical low pressure impactor (ELPI+) at an urban site in Zhengzhou from October 1 to 25, 2016 and determined for 25 elements. Results show that crustal elements were concentrated in coarse particles and toxic elements were concentrated in ultra-fine particles. The size distributions of Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Fe, Ti, S and Cl were uni-modal with dominant peak in the size range of 1.43–2.14 µm or 0.295–0.487 µm. K, P, Mn and Ba exhibited bimodal distributions and the remaining elements showed multimodal distributions. Potential sources of elements by enrichment factor, correlation analysis and principal component analysis indicated that vehicle-related source were the dominant origin of particles. Sources of biomass burning, coal combustion and dust also contributed to the accumulation of particles. The elemental concentrations affected by different air masses were discussed to investigate the effects of regional transport. An increase of elemental concentrations related to vehicle and coal sources was observed when air masses came from eastern areas. Furthermore, air masses came from the southeast could be a major factor of air pollution for Zhengzhou during special periods, such as biomass burning or temporal naked cropland. The majority of elements from dust and coal combustion were lower than that in clean day when air masses came from the northwest, while elements that originated from vehicle emissions accumulated.


Particle Element Size distribution Principal component analysis Regional transport

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