Fossil vs. non-fossil sources of fine carbonaceous aerosols in four Chinese cities during the extreme winter haze episode of 2013

Zhang, Yanlin; Huang, R.-J.; El Haddad, I.; Ho, K.-F.; Cao, J.-J.; Han, Y.; Zotter, P.; Bozzetti, C.; Daellenbach, K.R.; Salazar Quintero, Gary Abdiel; Canonaco, F.; Slowik, J.G.; Schwikowski, Margit; Schnelle-Kreis, J.; Abbaszade, G.; Zimmermann, R.; Baltensperger, U.; Prevot, A.S.H.; Szidat, Sönke (2015). Fossil vs. non-fossil sources of fine carbonaceous aerosols in four Chinese cities during the extreme winter haze episode of 2013. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 15(3), pp. 1299-1312. European Geosciences Union 10.5194/acp-15-1299-2015

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During winter 2013, extremely high concentrations (i.e., 4–20 times higher than the World Health Organization guideline) of PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 μm) mass concentrations (24 h samples) were found in four major cities in China including Xi'an, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Statistical analysis of a combined data set from elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), 14C and biomass-burning marker measurements using Latin hypercube sampling allowed a quantitative source apportionment of carbonaceous aerosols. Based on 14C measurements of EC fractions (six samples each city), we found that fossil emissions from coal combustion and vehicle exhaust dominated EC with a mean contribution of 75 ± 8% across all sites. The remaining 25 ± 8% was exclusively attributed to biomass combustion, consistent with the measurements of biomass-burning markers such as anhydrosugars (levoglucosan and mannosan) and water-soluble potassium (K+). With a combination of the levoglucosan-to-mannosan and levoglucosan-to-K+ ratios, the major source of biomass burning in winter in China is suggested to be combustion of crop residues. The contribution of fossil sources to OC was highest in Beijing (58 ± 5%) and decreased from Shanghai (49 ± 2%) to Xi'an (38 ± 3%) and Guangzhou (35 ± 7%). Generally, a larger fraction of fossil OC was from secondary origins than primary sources for all sites. Non-fossil sources accounted on average for 55 ± 10 and 48 ± 9% of OC and total carbon (TC), respectively, which suggests that non-fossil emissions were very important contributors of urban carbonaceous aerosols in China. The primary biomass-burning emissions accounted for 40 ± 8, 48 ± 18, 53 ± 4 and 65 ± 26% of non-fossil OC for Xi'an, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, respectively. Other non-fossil sources excluding primary biomass burning were mainly attributed to formation of secondary organic carbon (SOC) from non-fossil precursors such as biomass-burning emissions. For each site, we also compared samples from moderately to heavily polluted days according to particulate matter mass. Despite a significant increase of the absolute mass concentrations of primary emissions from both fossil and non-fossil sources during the heavily polluted events, their relative contribution to TC was even decreased, whereas the portion of SOC was consistently increased at all sites. This observation indicates that SOC was an important fraction in the increment of carbonaceous aerosols during the haze episode in China.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Zhang, Yanlin; Salazar Quintero, Gary Abdiel; Schwikowski, Margit and Szidat, Sönke

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry

ISSN:

1680-7316

Publisher:

European Geosciences Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sönke Szidat

Date Deposited:

17 Feb 2015 14:47

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2017 07:17

Publisher DOI:

10.5194/acp-15-1299-2015

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.63179

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/63179

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