Zhiyong Li This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2, Ziyuan Yue1, Dingyuan Yang1, Lei Wang3, Xin Wang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.3, Zhenxin Li1, Yutong Wang1, Lan Chen1,2, Songtao Guo1, Jinsong Yao1, Xiao Lou1, Xiaolin Xu1, Jinye Wei1

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

Received: February 3, 2021
Revised: April 3, 2021
Accepted: April 7, 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.210026  

Cite this article:

Li, Z., Yue, Z., Yang, D., Wang, L., Wang, X., Li, Z., Wang, Y., Chen, L., Guo, S., Yao, J., Lou, X., Xu, X., Wei, J. (2021). Levels, Chemical Compositions, and Sources of PM2.5 of Rural and Urban Area under the Impact of Wheat Harvest. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210026


  • Urban PM5 was largely affected by wheat harvest (WH).
  • Biomass burning (BB) markers increased after WH.
  • Fugitive dust and BB have high and low contributions during WH.
  • Coal was still an important contributor for urban and rural area.
  • Higher vehicle exhaust shares occurred in rural area.


Wheat harvest (WH) largely alters the PM2.5 characteristics for rural and adjacent urban areas. A systematic PM2.5 sampling campaign was conducted in an urban area (UA) and a rural site (ARS) in the center of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei during and after WH (DWH and AWH). PM2.5 levels (in µg m–3) in both ARS and UA increased from 75.5 to 156, and from 53.1 to 137 along with the transition from AWH to DWH. Hysteresis of PM2.5 peaks in UA further proved the migration effect of “Rural to Urban”. High Igeo values were found for crustal elements in two sites evidencing the WH derived dust emissions. Soil dust shares in PM2.5 decreased from 9.40% to 6.75% and 21.3% to 7.98% for UA and ARS from DWH to AWH, while biomass-burning markers Cl and K+ increased from 3360 to 6650 and 3630 to 7500 µg g–1 for UA, and from 5050 to 9370 and 5480 to 8090 µg g–1 for ARS. Six sources were identified by PMF including coal combustion (CC), vehicle exhaust (VE), industrial source (IS), biomass burning (BB), secondary inorganic aerosol (SIA), and fugitive dust (FD). FD dominated in ARS during DWH, and higher shares occurred in AWH for UA. BB shares in two sites increased from DWH to AWH attributing to the biomass burning for maize planting. It was surprising to point out higher VE shares appeared in ARS instead of UA due to the operation of harvesters and cultivators. Much higher IS shares in UA indicated that local industrial emission control should be enhanced. Certain CC shares in both UA and ARS implied that coal was still an important fuel regardless of the government decree of “Coal Limitation”.

Keywords: Wheat harvest, PM2.5, Elements and ions, PMF, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei

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