Atmospheric environment

Effect of traffic restriction on atmospheric particle concentrations and their size distributions in urban Lanzhou, Northwestern China

Suping Zhao , Ye Yu , Na Liu , Jianjun He , Jinbei Chen


Received February 25, 2013,Revised September 17, 2013, Accepted , Available online January 27, 2014

Volume ,2014,Pages 362-370

During the 2012 Lanzhou International Marathon, the local government made a significant effort to improve traffic conditions and air quality by implementing traffic restriction measures. To evaluate the direct effect of these measures on urban air quality, especially particle concentrations and their size distributions, atmospheric particle size distributions (0.5-20 μm) obtained using an aerodynamic particle sizer (model 3321, TSI, USA) in June 2012 were analyzed. It was found that the particle number, surface area and volume concentrations for size range 0.5-10 μm were (15.0± 2.1) cm-3, (11.8± 2.6) μm2/cm3 and (1.9± 0.6) μm2/cm3, respectively, on the traffic-restricted day (Sunday), which is 63.2%, 53.0% and 47.2% lower than those on a normal Sunday. For number and surface area concentrations, the most affected size range was 0.5-0.7 and 0.5-0.8 μm, respectively, while for volume concentration, the most affected size ranges were 0.5-0.8, 1.7-2.0 and 5.0-5.4 μm. Number and volume concentrations of particles in size range 0.5-1.0 μm correlated well with the number of non-CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) powered vehicles, while their correlation with the number of CNG-powered vehicles was very low, suggesting that reasonable urban traffic controls along with vehicle technology improvements could play an important role in improving urban air quality.

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