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.

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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.


  • Fine particles were acidic during haze days
  • Crustal elements were the most abundant elements in PM5.
  • Coal combustion and motor vehicle emissions were the important sources of PM5


This study aimed to better understand the chemical composition of PM2.5 airborne particulate matter during a haze episode in Zibo, a heavy industrial city in China, and determine the pollution cause. PM2.5 samples were collected from 8-27 January 2018. The samples were analysed for water-soluble inorganic ions, trace elements (TE), organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC). The results reveal that the PM2.5 concentration during the haze episode (mean ± SD = 211 ± 39) μg m-3 was 76.78% higher than before it (49 ± 38 μg m-3). The NO3-, SO42- and NH4+ were the dominant ions. The concentrations of TE during the haze episode were 54.70% higher than before it and 31.98% higher than after it. Crustal elements (K, Al, Ca, Si, Na, Fe and Mg) were the most abundant elements and accounted for 88.64% of TE during the haze episode. The carbonaceous species (OC and EC) accounted for 15.45% of PM2.5 on haze days, which is slightly lower than on non-haze days. The ratios of NO3-/SO42- and OC/EC indicate that coal combustion and motor vehicle emissions were the most important pollution sources. Back-trajectory analysis indicates that the air-mass paths on haze days were mainly derived from the adjacent regions of Shandong Province and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The haze episode was caused by a combination of unfavorable meteorological conditions, secondary formation, accumulation of pollutants from local sources, and peripheral transmission.

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

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:-. 

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