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Chemical Characteristics and Source Apportionment of PM2.5 during Winter in the Southern Part of Urumqi, China

Category: Urban Air Quality

Volume: 19 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 1325-1337
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.12.0454
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To cite this article:
Turap, Y., Rekefu, S., Wang, G., Talifu, D., Gao, B., Aierken, T., Hao, S., Wang, X., Tursun, Y., Maihemuti, M. and Nuerla, A. (2019). Chemical Characteristics and Source Apportionment of PM2.5 during Winter in the Southern Part of Urumqi, China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 1325-1337. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.12.0454.

Yusan Turap1, Suwubinuer Rekefu1, Guo Wang1, Dilinuer Talifu 1, Bo Gao 2, Tuergong Aierken1, Shen Hao1, Xinming Wang3, Yalkunjan Tursun1, Mailikezhati Maihemuti1, Ailijiang Nuerla4

  • 1 Key Laboratory of Coal Clean Conversion and Chemical Engineering Process, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
  • 2 State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Ecology, South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Guangzhou 510535, China
  • 3 State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • 4 Key Laboratory of Smart City and Environmental Modeling of Higher Education Institute, College of Resources and Environment Sciences, Xinjiang University, Urumqi, 830046, China


  • Replacing coal with natural gas mitigated air pollution significantly.
  • A significant decline in concentration of PM2.5 and major compositions.
  • Air pollution has gradually shifted from conventional dust storms to a mixture.
  • The source related to secondary formation was the largest contributor of PM2.5.


Urumqi, the administrative center of Xinjiang, suffers from severe atmospheric aerosol pollution; however, no study has comprehensively analyzed the local constituents and sources of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The characteristics of PM2.5 in Urumqi were observed the first winter (2012–2013) after natural gas replaced coal as an energy source. Enrichment factors, backward trajectories, the potential source contribution function (PSCF) model, and positive matrix factorization (PMF) were used to identify the source area and categories. The results showed a mean concentration of 197.40 µg m–3 for the PM2.5, which significantly decreased after the conversion from coal to natural gas. Although the concentration of NO3 increased post-conversion, the SO42– and Cl decreased by 42.54% and 32.93%, respectively. The water-soluble ions (WSIs) mainly consisted of NH4HSO4, CaSO4, MgSO4, Ca(NO3)2, Mg(NO3)2, and KCl. Elements such as Pb, Cr, and As decreased following the fuel switch. The organic carbon and elemental carbon were strongly correlated, and the mean concentration of the secondary organic carbon was 18.90 µg m–3. Pyr, Chr, BbF, BkF, IcdP, and BghiP were the most prevalent individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and BaP exceeded health-based guidelines. The results from trajectory clustering and PSCF modeling suggested that emissions from both the city and its surroundings, as well as the valley-and-basin topography, may be responsible for the heavy PM2.5 pollution in southern Urumqi. PMF identified five primary sources: secondary formation, biomass and waste burning, vehicle emissions, crustal minerals, and industrial pollution and coal combustion.


Fine particulate matter Chemical composition Source apportionment Urumqi

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Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0496