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Chemical Characteristics and Source Apportionment of PM2.5 during winter in South Urumqi, China

Category: Urban Air Quality

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.12.0454
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Yusan Turap1, Suwubinuer Rekefu1, Guo Wang1, Dilinuer Talifu 1, Bo Gao 2, Tuergong Aierken1, Shen Hao1, Xinming Wang3, Yalkunjan Tursun1, Mailikezhati Maihemuti1, Nuerla Ailijiang4

  • 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). Characteristics of PM2.5 in Urumqi in winter were observed after the energy switch from coal to natural gas. 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 that the mean concentration of PM2.5 was 197.40 μg m−3 and significantly decreased after the conversion from coal to natural gas. Although the concentration of NO3− increased, SO42− and Cl− decreased 42.54% and 32.93%, respectively. Water-soluble ions (WSIs) were mainly present as NH4HSO4, CaSO4, MgSO4, Ca(NO3)2, Mg(NO3)2, and KCl. Elements such as Pb, Cr, and As decreased compared with before the fuel switch. There was a strong correlation between organic carbon and element carbon, and the mean concentration of 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. Trajectory clustering and the PSCF method suggested that both inside and outside the city and the typical topography might be the main factors to form the heavy PM2.5 pollution in south 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.2018.12.0484