Sushil Kumar1, Supriya Nath1, Manpreet Singh Bhatti2, Sudesh Yadav 1

1 School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India
2 Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University,, Amritsar 143001, India

Received: February 8, 2018
Revised: March 29, 2018
Accepted: March 30, 2018
Download Citation: ||  

Cite this article:
Kumar, S., Nath, S., Bhatti, M.S. and Yadav, S. (2018). Chemical Characteristics of Fine and Coarse Particles during Wintertime over Two Urban Cities in North India. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 18: 1573-1590.


  • PM2.5/PM2.5-10 mass ratios were 2.9 and 3.6 over AMS and DEL.
  • PM2.5 had more ∑WSIIs than PM2.5-10, SSI dominates among all ions at both sites.
  • ERs for Pb, Cu and Zn in PM2.5 were 63, 18 and 13 over DEL and 2, 11 and 31 over AMS.
  • CD value of > 0.5 indicated spatial heterogeneity in PM2.5 and PM2.5-10 chemistry.
  • Sources differ among PM2.5 & PM2.5-10 and among the sampling sites.



Water-soluble inorganic ions (WSII), organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC), and metals in the residue of the water-soluble fraction were studied in fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM2.5-10) particles during winter over two urban cities, Amritsar (AMS) and New Delhi (DEL), in northern India. The PM2.5/PM2.5-10 mass ratios at DEL and AMS were 3.6 and 2.79, respectively. ∑WSIIs was nearly 25% of the total mass in two size fractions and was higher in PM2.5 than PM2.5-10 at both sites. The secondary ions SO42− and NH4+ were dominant at both sites. The adsorption of fine particles onto larger ones may be a possible source of soluble ions in PM2.5-10. SO42− and NO3 were neutralized by NH4+, and the formation of (NH4)2SO4 dominated over NH4NO3 in PM2.5, and by Ca2+ in PM2.5-10 over DEL. Coal burning, and agricultural and livestock emissions were potential sources of precursor gases of SO42− and NH4+. Plastic burning and the brick kiln industry contributed Cl in the PM2.5. OC dominated over EC above both sites, and the total carbon (OC + EC) was higher over AMS than DEL. Emissions from low-temperature rather than high temperature combustion processes were dominant, as indicated by the higher quantity of char-EC than soot-EC. OC, EC, and K+ resulted from biomass burning over AMS, whereas they originated in multiple sources over DEL. The Al normalized ratios of elements in the samples compared to the crust were higher in PM2.5 than PM2.5-10. Fe, Ti, and Mn ratios of < 1 were attributed to the silica dilution effect. The Pb, Cu, and Zn ratios in PM2.5 were 63, 18, and 13 over DEL and 2, 11, and 31 over AMS, respectively. Ba and Zn were contributed by vehicular emissions. A coefficient of divergence of > 0.5 indicated the spatial heterogeneity in the particle chemistry between the two sites. To improve the air quality and safeguard human health, biomass burning and the re-suspension of dust must be restricted.

Keywords: Aerosols; Sources; Processes; Transport; Biomass burning.


Share this article with your colleagues 


Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

77st percentile
Powered by
   SCImago Journal & Country Rank

2022 Impact Factor: 4.0
5-Year Impact Factor: 3.4

Aerosol and Air Quality Research partners with Publons

CLOCKSS system has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit
CLOCKSS system has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal that promotes submissions of high-quality research and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world. We use cookies on this website to personalize content to improve your user experience and analyze our traffic. By using this site you agree to its use of cookies.