Seasonal variations, temperature dependence, and sources of size-resolved PM components in Nanjing, east China

Qin''geng Wang , Mingjie Xie , Wei Feng , Shuyan He


Received July 31, 2021,Revised , Accepted December 19, 2021, Available online January 05, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 175-186

Size-segregated ambient particulate matter (PM) samples were collected seasonally in suburban Nanjing of east China from 2016 to 2017 and chemically speciated. In both fine (< 2.1 µm, PM2.1) and coarse (> 2.1 µm, PM>2.1) PM, organic carbon (OC) accounted for the highest fractions (26.9% ± 10.9% and 23.1% ± 9.35%) of all measured species, and NO3 lead in average concentrations of water-soluble inorganic ions (WSIIs). The size distributions of measured components were parameterized using geometric mean diameter (GMD). GMD values of NO3, Cl, OC, and PM for the whole size range varied from < 2.1 µm in winter to > 2.1 μm in warm seasons, which was due to the fact that the size distributions of semi-volatile components (e.g., NH4NO3, NH4Cl, and OC) had a dependency on the ambient temperature. Unlike OC, elemental carbon (EC), and elements, NH4+, NO3, and SO42− exhibited an increase trend in GMD values with relative humidity, indicating that the hygroscopic growth might also play a role in driving seasonal changes of PM size distributions. Positive matrix factorization was performed using compositional data of fine and coarse particles, respectively. The secondary formation of inorganic salts contributing to the majority (> 70%) of fine PM and 20.2% ± 19.9% of speciated coarse PM. The remaining coarse PM content was attributed to a variety of dust sources. Considering that coarse and fine PM had comparable mass concentrations, more attention should be paid to local dust emissions in future air quality plans.

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