An evaluation of source apportionment of fine OC and PM 2.5 by multiple methods: APHH-Beijing campaigns as a case study

Xu, Jingsha; Srivastava, Deepchandra; Wu, Xuefang; Hou, Siqi; Vu, Tuan V.; Liu, Di; Sun, Yele; Vlachou, Athanasia; Moschos, Vaios; Salazar, Gary; Szidat, Sönke; Prévôt, André S. H.; Fu, Pingqing; Harrison, Roy M.; Shi, Zongbo (2021). An evaluation of source apportionment of fine OC and PM 2.5 by multiple methods: APHH-Beijing campaigns as a case study. Faraday Discussions, 226, pp. 290-313. Royal Society of Chemistry 10.1039/D0FD00095G

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This study aims to critically evaluate the source apportionment of fine particles by multiple receptor modelling approaches, including carbon mass balance modelling of filter-based radiocarbon (14C) data, Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) and Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) analysis on filter-based chemical speciation data, and PMF analysis on Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS-PMF) or Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM-PMF) data. These data were collected as part of the APHH-Beijing (Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in a Chinese Megacity) field observation campaigns from 10th November to 12th December in winter 2016 and from 22nd May to 24th June in summer 2017. 14C analysis revealed the predominant contribution of fossil fuel combustion to carbonaceous aerosols in winter compared with non-fossil fuel sources, which is supported by the results from other methods. An extended Gelencs´er (EG) method incorporating 14C data, as well as the CMB and AMS/ACSM-PMF methods, generated a consistent source apportionment for fossil fuel related primary organic carbon. Coal combustion, traffic and biomass burning POC were comparable for CMB and AMS/ACSM-PMF. There are uncertainties in the EG method when estimating biomass burning and cooking OC. The POC from cooking estimated by different methods was poorly correlated, suggesting a large uncertainty when differentiating this source type. The PM2.5 source apportionment results varied between different methods. Through a comparison and correlation analysis of CMB, PMF and AMS/ACSM-PMF, the CMB method appears to give the most complete and representative source apportionment of Beijing aerosols. Based upon the CMB results, fine aerosols in Beijing were mainly secondary inorganic ion formation, secondary organic aerosol formation, primary coal combustion and from biomass burning emissions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Salazar Quintero, Gary Abdiel, Szidat, Sönke


500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Royal Society of Chemistry




Sönke Szidat

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2021 11:55

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:50

Publisher DOI:


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