Significant contribution of secondary particulate matter to recurrent air pollution: Evidence from in situ observation in the most polluted city of Fen-Wei Plain of China

Yuesi Wang , Yu Liu , Xiaojuan Xu , Xiaoyang Yang , Jun He , Wenjie Zhang , Xingang Liu , Dongsheng Ji , Maofa Ge , Yujing Mu , Jianmin Chen , Min Shao , Zifa Wang


Received June 01, 2021,Revised , Accepted September 24, 2021, Available online February 20, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 422-433

Particulate matter (PM) pollution in high emission regions will affect air quality, human health and climate change on both local and regional scales, and thus attract worldwide attention. In this study, a comprehensive study on PM2.5 and its chemical composition were performed in Yuncheng (the most polluted city of Fen-Wei Plain of China) from November 28, 2020 to January 24, 2021. The average concentration of PM2.5 was 87.8 ± 52.0 μg/m3, which were apparently lower than those observed during the same periods of past five years, attributable to the clean air action plan implemented in this region. NO3 and organic carbon (OC) were the dominant particulate components, which on average contributed 22.6% and 16.5% to PM2.5, respectively. The fractions of NO3, NH4+, OC and trace metals increased while those of crustal materials and elemental carbon decreased with the degradation of PM2.5 pollution. Six types of PM2.5 sources were identified by the PMF model, including secondary inorganic aerosol (35.3%), coal combustion (28.7%), vehicular emission (20.7%), electroplating industry (8.6%), smelt industry (3.9%) and dust (2.8%). Locations of each identified source were pinpointed based on conditional probability function, potential source contribution function and concentration weighted trajectory, which showed that the geographical distribution of the sources of PM2.5 roughly agreed with the areas of high emission. Overall, this study provides valuable information on atmospheric pollution and deems beneficial for policymakers to take informed action to sustainably improve air quality in highly polluted region.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3