Special Issue on Air Pollution and its Impact in South and Southeast Asia

Prodip Acharja   1,2, Akash Vispute1,2, Prasanna Lonkar1,2, Suresh W. Gosavi2, Sreyashi Debnath1,2, Narendra G. Dhangar1, Kaushar Ali1, Gaurav Govardhan1,3, Sachin D. Ghude  1

1 Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Pune, India
2 Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune 411007, India
3 National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Noida, U.P., India

Received: March 1, 2022
Revised: August 8, 2022
Accepted: September 15, 2022

 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.220108  

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Cite this article:

Acharja, P., Vispute, A., Lonkar, P., Gosavi, S.W., Debnath, S., Dhangar, N.G., Ali, K., Govardhan, G., Ghude, S.D. (2022). Size-resolved Compositional Analysis and Source Apportionment of Submicron Aerosol during Lockdown Period Using HR-ToF-AMS. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.220108


  • Chemical compositions of NR-PM1 were examined using HR-ToF-AMS during lockdown.
  • Org dominated NR-PM1 mass followed by sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, and chloride.
  • OA was deconvoluted into four factors (HOA, BBOA, LVOOA, and SVOOA) using PMF.
  • PMF, PSCF and trajectory cluster analysis identified the potential source sectors.


The size-resolved compositional analysis of non-refractory submicron aerosol (NR-PM1) was conducted using the Aerodyne High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) instrument over Pune, India during the COVID-19 lockdown period. The aerosol composition data shows the predominant presence of organics (Org) in the mass fraction followed by sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, and chloride during the pre-lockdown and lockdown periods. The size-resolved analysis showed the unimodal size distribution of organic and inorganic constituents with peaks at 550 nm, implying the dominant presence of mixed and aged aerosol species. The stoichiometric neutralization analysis showed the almost neutralized nature of submicron aerosol with an average aerosol neutralization ratio (ANR) of 0.8. The back trajectories, cluster analysis, and potential source contribution function (PSCF) showed the industrial belt located in the western part of the study location to be the potential source regions of NR-PM1. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analyses have been applied to investigate the source apportionments of organic aerosols (OA). Four distinct OA factors, i.e., hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA), biomass burning OA (BBOA), low-volatile oxygenated OA (LVOOA), and semi-volatile oxygenated OA (SVOOA) were identified during the study period. Among these factors, HOA contributes nearly a quarter to the OA mass, and OOA accounted for nearly 60% of the total OA mass. The high-resolution positive matrix factorization (HR-PMF) analysis and the elemental ratios of H/C, O/C, and OM/OC showed distinct characteristics during different periods. The density of organic aerosol has been estimated using the elemental ratios and found to be 1.14, 1.28, and 1.35 respectively during the different lockdown periods, similar to 1.30 g/cm3 as mentioned in the literature. This study provides new insights into the chemical composition and source apportionment of the organic fraction of submicron aerosols for the first time over Pune using HR-ToF-AMS and HR-PMF.

Keywords: HR-ToF-AMS, Submicron Aerosols (NR-PM1), High-Resolution Positive Matrix Factorization (HR-PMF), Potential Source Contribution Function (PSCF), COVID-19 lockdown

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