Mingfu Cai1, Haobo Tan 2, Chak K. Chan3,4, Michihiro Mochida5, Shiro Hatakeyama6, Yutaka Kondo7, Misha I. Schurman3, Hanbing Xu1, Fei Li2, Kojiro Shimada5, Liu Li1, Yange Deng5, Hikari Yai5, Atsushi Matsuki8, Yiming Qin3, Jun Zhao 1

  • 1 School of Atmospheric Sciences, Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, and Institute of Earth Climate and Environment System, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275, China
  • 2 Institute of Tropical and Marine Meteorology/Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Regional Numerical Weather Prediction, CMA, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • 3 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
  • 4 School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 5 Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
  • 6 Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-5809, Japan
  • 7 NIPR National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo 190-0014, Japan
  • 8 Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan

Received: January 11, 2017
Revised: April 15, 2017
Accepted: April 16, 2017
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2017.01.0020  

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Cite this article:
Cai, M., Tan, H., Chan, C.K., Mochida, M., Hatakeyama, S., Kondo, Y., Schurman, M.I., Xu, H., Li, F., Shimada, K., Li, L., Deng, Y., Yai, H., Matsuki, A., Qin, Y. and Zhao, J. (2017). Comparison of Aerosol Hygroscopcity, Volatility, and Chemical Composition between a Suburban Site in the Pearl River Delta Region and a Marine Site in Okinawa. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 3194-3208. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2017.01.0020


  • The particles number concentration was 10 times higher in PRD than in Okinawa.
  • More BC and organics result in lower hygroscopicity and volatility in PRD.
  • Particles are external and internal mixture in PRD and in Okinawa respectively.



A suite of advanced instruments were employed to measure aerosol hygroscopicity, volatility and chemical composition at a suburban site in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region and at a marine site in Okinawa, respectively. The results showed that the particle number concentration in PRD is approximately ten times higher than that in Okinawa. Organics contributes about one half of the total NR-PM1 concentration in PRD, while sulfate is the dominant component (about 60%) in Okinawa. Diurnal variation of the chemical species demonstrated that the site in PRD was affected by traffic-related sources and industrial emissions, while the one in Okinawa is mainly affected by regional emissions. The V-TDMA measurements showed that a large fraction (20–45%) of particles in Okinawa volatilized at about 200°C and nearly all particles volatilized at about 300°C, indicating that the particles were almost volatile in Okinawa. In contrast, a fraction (15–21%) of particles in PRD did not evaporate even when heated to about 300°C, implying that these particles might contain black carbon or low-volatile organics. For 40–200 nm particles in Okinawa, the hygroscopicity parameter κ is around 0.5, significantly higher than that of PRD particles (κ ≈ 0.26). Particles tend to have bimodal distribution in PRD and unimodal in Okinawa, indicating that the former is externally mixed while the latter is internally mixed.

Keywords: Hygroscopicity; Chemical composition; Volatility; Pearl River Delta

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