Chemical characterization and source apportionment of atmospheric submicron particles on the western coast of Taiwan Strait, China

Liming Cao , Qiao Zhu , Xiaofeng Huang , Junjun Deng , Jinsheng Chen , Youwei Hong , Lingling Xu , Lingyan He


Received May 29, 2016,Revised August 30, 2016, Accepted September 14, 2016, Available online November 15, 2016

Volume 29,2017,Pages 293-304

Taiwan Strait is a special channel for subtropical East Asian Monsoon and its western coast is an important economic zone in China. In this study, a suburban site in the city of Xiamen on the western coast of Taiwan Strait was selected for fine aerosol study to improve the understanding of air pollution sources in this region. An Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) and an Aethalometer were deployed to measure fine aerosol composition with a time resolution of 5 min from May 1 to 18, 2015. The average mass concentration of PM1 was 46.2 ± 26.3 μg/m3 for the entire campaign. Organics (28.3%), sulfate (24.9%), and nitrate (20.6%) were the major components in the fine particles, followed by ammonium, black carbon (BC), and chloride. Evolution of nitrate concentration and size distribution indicated that local NOx emissions played a key role in high fine particle pollution in Xiamen. In addition, organic nitrate was found to account for 9.0%–13.8% of the total measured nitrate. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) conducted with high-resolution organic mass spectra dataset differentiated the organic aerosol into three components, including a hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA) and two oxygenated organic aerosols (SV-OOA and LV-OOA), which on average accounted for 27.6%, 28.8%, and 43.6% of the total organic mass, respectively. The relationship between the mass concentration of submicron particle species and wind further confirmed that all major fine particle species were influenced by both strong local emissions in the southeastern area of Xiamen and regional transport through the Taiwan Strait.

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