Special Issue on Carbonaceous Aerosols in the Atmosphere (II)

Wenhua Wang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2, Hui Zhou1,2, Ruihe Lyu3, Longyi Shao This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.4, Wenmiao Li1,2, Jiaoping Xing5, Zhe Zhao1,2, Xian Li1,2, Xiuyan Zhou1,2, Daizhou Zhang6

1 School of Resources and Civil Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
2 School of Resources and Materials, Northeastern University at Qinhuangdao, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
3 College of Marine Resources and Environment, Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining and College of Geosciences and Surveying Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing 100083, China
5 School of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
6 Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Kumamoto 862-8502, Japan

Received: January 4, 2024
Revised: March 13, 2024
Accepted: March 20, 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.240002  

Cite this article:

Wang, W., Zhou, H., Lyu, R., Shao, L., Li, W., Xing, J., Zhao, Z., Li, X., Zhou, X., Zhang, D. (2024). Organic Carbon and Elemental Carbon in Two Dust Plumes at a Coastal City in North China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 24, 240002. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.240002


  • EC accounted for 0.13% ± 0.26% and 0.28% ± 0.15% of the total PM10 in two dust periods.
  • OC accounted for 4.6% ± 1.1% and 4.3% ± 0.6% of the total PM10 in two dust periods.
  • Irregular shaped C-dominated particles accounted for 5.2% in number.
  • The weight ratios of OC-to-PM2.5-10 were stable at approximately 2.8%.


In the spring of 2023, two severe dust events occurred in the coastal city of Qinhuangdao, North China. We investigated organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in PM10 using an OC/EC analyzer and identified the morphology and elemental composition of individual dust particles using a scanning electron microscope coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX). Results showed that OC mass concentrations varied significantly from 12.6 µg m–3 to 74.6 µg m–3 and showed a significant positive correlation with the PM10 mass concentration. On average, OC made up 4.6% ± 1.1% and 4.3% ± 0.6% of the total PM10 mass in two dust periods. Particularly, the weight ratio of OC-to-coarse particles (PM2.5-10) was stable at approximately 2.8% ± 0.2%. In contrast, EC was less than 1.0% of the total PM10 mass, with an average value of 0.13% ± 0.26% and 0.28% ± 0.15% in two dust periods. According to SEM-EDX results, the average weight ratios of sulfur on detected individual dust particles were 0.48% and 1.88% in two dust periods, which were less than the previously reported value in non-dust days, indicating inefficient formation of secondary species on the dust particles. SEM-EDX analysis further revealed that approximately 5.2% of the particles (in number) were irregularly shaped C-dominated particles, which might be carbonaceous species-containing particles. These results highlighted that the dust plumes brought a certain amount of OC but limited EC from dust sources.

Keywords: Dust storm, Organic carbon, Elemental carbon, Individual particle, SEM-EDX

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