Zhiyong Li This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2, Zhenxin Li1, Ziyuan Yue1, Dingyuan Yang1, Yutong Wang1, Lan Chen1,2, Songtao Guo1, Jinsong Yao1, Lei Wang3, Xiao Lou1, Xiaolin Xu1, Jinye Wei1, Baole Deng This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.4, Hong Wu5

1 A Hebei Key Lab of Power Plant Flue Gas Multi-Pollutants Control, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, North China Electric Power University, Baoding 071003, China
2 MOE Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Systems Optimization, Ministry of Education, Beijing 102206, China
3 Hebei Research Center for Geoanalysis, Baoding 071003, China
4 Tianjin Eco-Environmental Monitoring Center, Tianjin 300191, China
5 College of Environment and Resources, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing 400067, China

Received: November 11, 2020
Revised: December 28, 2020
Accepted: January 4, 2021

 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.200625  

Cite this article:

Li, Z., Li, Z., Yue, Z., Yang, D., Wang, Y., Chen, L., Guo, S., Yao, J., Wang, L., Lou, X., Xu, X., Wei, J., Deng, B., Wu, H. (2021). Impact of Wheat Harvest on Levels and Sources of PM2.5-associated PAHs in an Urban Area Located at the Center of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200625. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200625


  • “Migration Effects” occurred in urban area.
  • Higher PM2.5 and PAHs levels occurred in DWH and AWH.
  • Biomass burning was the biggest PAH contributor.
  • Vehicle exhaust’s contribution was lower in BUA than ARS.
  • Industrial emissions had been a smallest PAH contributor.


Wheat harvest and subsequent straw burning for maize planting can cause severe PM2.5 and PAH pollutions and deteriorate the air quality of nearby cities in consequence. PM2.5 samples were collected in Baoding urban area (BUA) from June 18 to July 7 of 2019, during and after wheat harvest (DWH and AWH, respectively). The “Migration Effect” (i.e., PM2.5 and PAHs transferred from rural to urban during DWH and AWH, respectively) was proved by both the later time for appearance of peak values of PM2.5 and PAHs and the air mass origins in BUA. The daily average PM2.5 (reported in µg m–3) 137 of DWH was 2.58 times 53.1 of AWH for BUA, regardless of its lower levels than the corresponding 156 and 75.6 for an adjacent rural site (ARS). The reverse trend was found for PAH mass contents (in µg g–1), AWH possessed much higher value of 139 than 27.8 of DWH, while no significant fluctuations occurred for PAH concentrations due to the varied PM2.5 levels. Four PAH sources including biomass burning (BB), coal combustion (CC), vehicle exhaust (VE) and industrial emissions (IN) were identified using positive matrix factorization (PMF). BB was the biggest contributor during whole sampling period (WSP), followed by CC, VE, and IN. BB increased from 17.3% to 37.1% along with the transition from DWH to AWH, indicated the impact of straw burning for maize planting. High share of CC suggested that coal was still an important civil fuel. The strict emission reduction measures made the industry smallest contributor in BUA. Lower VE share in BUA than ARS demonstrated that influence of high-intensity operation of wheat harvesters and rotary cultivators.

Keywords: PM2.5, PAHs, PMF, Backward trajectory clustering, Wheat harvest

Don't forget to share this article 


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.