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Fossil Vs. Non-fossil Sources of Fine Carbonaceous Aerosols in Four Chinese Cities During the Extreme Winter Haze Episode of 2013 : Volume 15, Issue 3 (06/02/2015)

By Zhang, Y.-l.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003989494
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 14
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Fossil Vs. Non-fossil Sources of Fine Carbonaceous Aerosols in Four Chinese Cities During the Extreme Winter Haze Episode of 2013 : Volume 15, Issue 3 (06/02/2015)  
Author: Zhang, Y.-l.
Volume: Vol. 15, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Szidat, S., Ho, K., Han, Y., Canonaco, F., Huang, R., Baltensperger, U.,...H. Prévô, A. S. (2015). Fossil Vs. Non-fossil Sources of Fine Carbonaceous Aerosols in Four Chinese Cities During the Extreme Winter Haze Episode of 2013 : Volume 15, Issue 3 (06/02/2015). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Freiestrasse 3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland. During winter 2013, extremely high concentrations (i.e., 4–20 times higher than the World Health Organization guideline) of PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 μm) mass concentrations (24 h samples) were found in four major cities in China including Xi'an, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Statistical analysis of a combined data set from elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), 14C and biomass-burning marker measurements using Latin hypercube sampling allowed a quantitative source apportionment of carbonaceous aerosols. Based on 14C measurements of EC fractions (six samples each city), we found that fossil emissions from coal combustion and vehicle exhaust dominated EC with a mean contribution of 75 ± 8% across all sites. The remaining 25 ± 8% was exclusively attributed to biomass combustion, consistent with the measurements of biomass-burning markers such as anhydrosugars (levoglucosan and mannosan) and water-soluble potassium (K+). With a combination of the levoglucosan-to-mannosan and levoglucosan-to-K+ ratios, the major source of biomass burning in winter in China is suggested to be combustion of crop residues. The contribution of fossil sources to OC was highest in Beijing (58 ± 5%) and decreased from Shanghai (49 ± 2%) to Xi'an (38 ± 3%) and Guangzhou (35 ± 7%). Generally, a larger fraction of fossil OC was from secondary origins than primary sources for all sites. Non-fossil sources accounted on average for 55 ± 10 and 48 ± 9% of OC and total carbon (TC), respectively, which suggests that non-fossil emissions were very important contributors of urban carbonaceous aerosols in China. The primary biomass-burning emissions accounted for 40 ± 8, 48 ± 18, 53 ± 4 and 65 ± 26% of non-fossil OC for Xi'an, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, respectively. Other non-fossil sources excluding primary biomass burning were mainly attributed to formation of secondary organic carbon (SOC) from non-fossil precursors such as biomass-burning emissions. For each site, we also compared samples from moderately to heavily polluted days according to particulate matter mass. Despite a significant increase of the absolute mass concentrations of primary emissions from both fossil and non-fossil sources during the heavily polluted events, their relative contribution to TC was even decreased, whereas the portion of SOC was consistently increased at all sites. This observation indicates that SOC was an important fraction in the increment of carbonaceous aerosols during the haze episode in China.

Fossil vs. non-fossil sources of fine carbonaceous aerosols in four Chinese cities during the extreme winter haze episode of 2013

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