Special Issue on Better Air Quality in Asia (II)

Menghui Li1,2, Liping Wu2, Xiangyan Zhang3, Xinwu Wang3, Wenyu Bai1, Jing Ming4, Chunmei Geng This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Wen Yang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1

1 State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
2 School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, Tianjin Chengjian University, Tianjin 300384, China
3 Zibo Eco-Environmental Monitoring Center, Zibo 255000, China
4 Beacon Science & Consulting, Doncaster East, VIC 3109, Australia

Received: December 29, 2019
Revised: April 29, 2020
Accepted: May 26, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.11.0591  

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Cite this article:

Li, M., Wu, L., Zhang, X., Wang, X., Bai, W., Ming, J., Geng, C. and Yang. W. (2020). Comparison of PM2.5 Chemical Compositions during Haze and Non-haze Days in a Heavy Industrial City in North China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1950–1960. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.11.0591


  • Fine particles were acidic during haze days.
  • Crustal elements were the most abundant elements in PM2.5.
  • Coal combustion and motor vehicle emissions were the important sources of PM2.5.


This study aimed to determine the chemical composition, sources and contributing factors of airborne PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 µm) during a haze episode in Zibo, a heavy industrial city in China. Samples of PM2.5 were collected 8–27 January 2018 and analyzed for water-soluble inorganic ions (WSIs), trace elements (TEs), organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC). The PM2.5 concentration was 76.78% higher during the haze (mean ± standard deviation [SD] = 211 ± 39 µg m–3) than before it (49 ± 38 µg m–3), and the dominant ions were NO3, SO42– and NH4+. Additionally, an elevated TE concentration was observed during the episode (exceeding the pre- and post-haze values by 54.70% and 31.98%, respectively), with crustal elements (K, Al, Ca, Si, Na, Fe and Mg), the most abundant elemental components, accounting for 88.64%. Carbonaceous species (OC and EC) contributed 15.45% of the PM2.5 on haze days and slightly more on non-haze days. The NO3/SO42– and OC/EC ratios indicated that coal combustion and motor vehicle emission were the primary sources of pollution, and back-trajectory analysis revealed that the air masses over Zibo on haze days mainly originated in adjacent areas in Shandong Province and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (BTH). The haze episode was caused by a combination of unfavorable meteorological conditions, secondary formation, the accumulation of local pollutants, and peripheral transmission.

Keywords: Chemical composition; PM2.5; Haze episode; Heavy industrial city.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20 :1950 -1960 . https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.11.0591  

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