Cite this article: Xu, Q.P., Wang, J.Z., Liu, J.Q. and Peng, S.C. (2017). Particulate Size Distribution and Sources Evaluation of n-Alkanes during Long-Term Haze Episode around Chaohu Lake, Eastern China.
Aerosol Air Qual. Res.
17: 1975-1984. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2017.05.0189
Low concentrations of n-alkanes were observed at the sites close to Chaohu Lake.
Particles bounded n-alkans in study area were majorly from anthropogenic sources.
Generally, n-alkanes were distributed in fine particles in all sampling sites.
GMDs were significantly correlated against to LogPLo for all sampling sites.
mg and bg obtained from all locations appeared a significant linear correlation.
n-Alkanes (from nC16 to nC32) associated with particulate matters were determined in the ambient air around Chaohu Lake, Eastern China, from October to December in 2014 during a long-term haze episode. The total concentrations of particle bounded n-alkanes varied from 332 to 2500 ng m–3, with the homologues of nC24–nC30 the most abundant species. Spatial analysis revealed that low concentrations of n-alkanes existed at the sites close to Chaohu Lake, while high concentrations were generally at locations distant from the lake. For all aggregated fractions, most n-alkanes were distributed in fine particles with the mean geometric mean diameter (GMD) varying from 3.0 ± 0.6 µm for nC16 to 2.1 ± 0.6 µm for nC32. Short chain n-alkanes were accumulated in coarse particles with a unimodal distribution, but long chain aliphatic hydrocarbons appeared to have a biomodal distribution in fine and coarse particles. The mass size distribution of individual n-alkane homologue was predominantly influenced by its volatility; thus GMDs were well correlated with the logarithmically transformed subcooled liquid vapor pressures (PLo, Pa) of n-alkanes at each sampling site, following the equation: GMDs = mgLogPLo + bg. Furthermore, mg and bg obtained from all locations tended to exhibit a significant linear correlation. This suggests that all saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons follow a similar accumulation mode during a haze episode, which allows us to predict the size distribution and GMD of a compound based on its PLo.