Special Issue on Carbonaceous Aerosols in the Atmosphere

Sawaeng Kawichai1,2, Tippawan Prapamontol This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Fang Cao2, Wenhuai Song2, Yan-Lin Zhang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2 

1 Research Institute for Health Sciences (RIHES), Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
2 School of Applied Meteorological, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210044, China

Received: November 5, 2023
Revised: February 6, 2024
Accepted: February 7, 2024

 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.230269  

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Cite this article:

Kawichai, S., Prapamontol, T., Cao, F., Song, W., Zhang, Y.L. (2024). Characteristics of Carbonaceous Species of PM2.5 in Chiang Mai City, Thailand. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.230269


  • The main sources of PM2.5 in Chaing Mai City are emissions from biomass burning.
  • Secondary organic carbon (SOC) constitutes a significant amount of organic aerosol.
  • Biomass burning contributes significantly to carbonaceous aerosols.
  • WSOC/OC ratio was higher (0.7), indicating an influence from biomass burning.


Over the past decade, biomass burning has significantly elevated PM2.5 levels in upper northern Thailand. However, studies of source contributions from carbonaceous aerosols are limited in upper northern Thailand. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the concentrations and characteristics of carbonaceous in PM2.5; and estimate their source contributions. The PM2.5 samples were collected from January to May 2017 in Chiang Mai City, located in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. The mean concentrations ± S.D. of PM2.5, organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) were 38.7 ± 18.2, 10.0 ± 4.89, 1.35 ± 0.68, and 7.61 ± 4.08 µg m-3, respectively. The OC/EC ratio ranged from 2.03 to 12.9, with a mean of 7.71 ± 0.15. The study demonstrated a WSOC/OC ratio of 0.75 ± 0.15, indicating that the WSOC was significantly contributed by biomass burning. The high level of primary organic carbon (POC) in the total organic carbon (TOC) found in this study confirms that biomass burning was the dominant source of OC in this season. The secondary organic carbon (SOC) contributions of 39.5% of TOC suggest a higher prevalence of air pollution and its role in encouraging the condensation or adsorption of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Therefore, this finding indicates that the concentrations of carbonaceous aerosol pollution in Chiang Mai City are of significant concern.

Keywords: Biomass burning, PM2.5, OC, EC, WSOC

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