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Single-Particle Characterizations of Ambient Aerosols during a Wintertime Pollution Episode in Nanning: Local Emissions vs. Regional Transport

Category: Aerosol and Atmospheric Chemistry

Volume: 17 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 49-58
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.01.0026
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Tingting Xu1, Hong Chen1, Xiaohui Lu1, Deborah S. Gross2, Xin Yang 1,3, Zhaoyu Mo4, Zhiming Chen4, Huilin Liu4, Jingying Mao4, Guiyun Liang4

  • 1 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • 2 Department of Chemistry, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, USA
  • 3 Fudan-Tyndall Center, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • 4 Guangxi Academy of Environmental Sciences, Nanning 530022, China


Emissions from northeast industrial regions had huge impact on Nanning.
Bagasse burning particles from sugar industry were most abundant in winter.
Vanadium-rich particles were derived from mining and smelting process.


Ambient aerosol during a heavily polluted episode in wintertime was characterized using real-time single particle aerosol mass spectrometry (SPAMS) in urban Nanning, a capital city in the Southwestern China. More than two million individual particles analyzed by SPAMS were classified into 8 major clusters based on the mass spectral patterns. A group of vanadium-rich particles were identified as the emissions from mining and smelting of vanadium mineral and were taken as markers of regional transported industrial emissions when air masses traversed northeast inland regions from Nanning. Number fractions of other industrially-emitted particles, including chromium-rich, elemental/organic carbon, organic carbon and fly ash, also increased during the regional transport events. During stagnant periods, local emissions sources, including vehicle exhaust (like Ca-EC particles) and local coal-fired power plants, contributed to the fine particles. During most of the sampling period, biomass burning particles produced by bagasse combustion were the most abundant, contributing ~25–80% of the total classified particles. Our observations suggest that biomass burning particles derived from industrial heat and electricity cogeneration processes could have a significant impact on the urban air quality without proper emission controls.


Ambient aerosol Bagasse combustion Single particle mass spectrometry Nanning

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