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Elemental Composition, Morphology and Sources of Fine Particulates (PM2.5) in Hefei City, China

Category: Aerosol and Atmospheric Chemistry

Volume: 19 | Issue: 8 | Pages: 1688-1696
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.09.0341
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Huaqin Xue1,2, Guijian Liu 1,2, Hong Zhang1,3, Ruoyu Hu1, Xin Wang1

  • 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
  • 2 State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an, Shanxi 710075, China
  • 3 Anhui Environment Science Institute, Hefei, Anhui 233000, China

Highlights

  • PM2.5 in Hefei City was severely polluted.
  • Geographical differences were ascribed to differences in traffic and construction.
  • We used statistical analysis techniques to highlight factors and sources of PM2.5.
  • Morphological properties tested by SEM and TEM confirmed air pollution sources.

Abstract

Elemental composition and morphology were studied for atmospheric fine particles (PM2.5) collected from a fast developing city, Hefei, with an aim of tracing the potential emission sources. The sampling was conducted every month at two urban sites between June 2014 and December 2015. We used X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to determine the elemental composition, and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) to characterize the particles in morphology.

Our results showed that PM2.5 contained large fractions of particles likely derived from fuel burning, construction and automobile emissions and was highly enriched in sulfur. Aggregations of particles suggested a strong secondary reaction under high SO2 levels. Some discrepancies in elemental composition at the two sampling sites were observed, which were attributed to the difference in traffic density and construction fugitive dust emissions. A negative correlation existed between the polluted elements in PM2.5 and the ambient temperature and a positive correlation existed with the pressure, likely caused by a reduction in the height of the terrestrial boundary layer and reaction rates of pollutants.

Keywords

PM2.5 Elemental composition Morphology Sources identification


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