Atmospheric environment

Morphology of single inhalable particle in the air polluted cityof Shijiazhuang, China

WANG Zanhong , ZHANG Lingzhi , ZHANG Yuliang , ZHAO Zhou , ZHANG Sumin


Received May 30, 2007,Revised December 05, 2007, Accepted , Available online

Volume 20,2008,Pages 429-435

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In the typical air polluted city of Shijiazhuang, single inhalable particle samples in non-heating period, heating period, dust storm days, and snowy days were collected and detected by SEM/EDS (scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry). The particle morphology was characterized by the 6 shape clusters, which are: irregular square, agglomerate, sphere, floccule, column or stick, and unknown, by quantitative order. The irregular square particles are common in all kinds of samples; sphere particles are more, and column or stick are less in winter samples; in the wet deposit samples, agglomerate and floccule particles are not found. The surface of most particles is coarse with fractal edge, which can provide suitable chemical reaction bed in the polluted atmospheric environment. New formed calcium crystal is found to demonstrate the existence of neutralized reaction, explaining the reason for the high SO2 emission and low acid rain frequency in Shijiazhuang. The three sorts of surface patterns of spheres are smooth, semi-smooth, and coarse, corresponding to the element of Si-dominant, Si-Al-dominant, and Fe-dominant. The soot particle is present as floccule with average size around 10 m, considerably larger than the former reported results, but wrapped or captured with other fine particles to make its appearance unique and enhance its toxicity potentially. The new formed calcium crystal, the 3 sorts of sphere surface patterns, and the unique soot appearance represent the single inhalable particle’s morphology characteristics in Shijiazhuang City.

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