Modeling primary and secondary fractionation effects and atmospheric transport of polychlorinated biphenyls through single-source emissions

  • Song Cui
  • Qiang Fu
  • Chongguo Tian
  • Zulin Zhang
  • Rupert Hough
  • Zhenxing Shen
  • Jianmin Ma
  • Lihui An
  • Yi-Fan LiEmail author
Original Paper


The Chinese Gridded Industrial Pollutants Emission and Residue Model (ChnGIPERM) was used to investigate potential fractionation effects and atmospheric transport of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) derived from single-source emissions in China. Modeling the indicative PCBs (CB28, CB101, CB153, and CB180) revealed spatiotemporal trends in atmospheric transport, gas/particle partitioning, and primary and secondary fractionation effects. These included the inference that the Westerlies and East Asian monsoons affect atmospheric transport patterns of PCBs by influencing the atmospheric transport time (ATT). In this study, dispersion pathways with long ATTs in winter tended to have short ones in summer and vice versa. The modeled partitioning of PCB congeners between gas and particles was mainly controlled by temperature, which can further influence the ATT. The potential for primary and secondary fractionation was explored by means of numerical simulations with single-source emissions. Within ChnGIPERM, these phenomena were mainly controlled by the temperature and soil organic carbon content. The secondary fractionation of PCBs is a slow process, with model results suggesting a timescale of several decades.


Polychlorinated biphenyls Single-source emission Atmospheric transport Primary fractionation Secondary fractionation 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51779047), the University Nursing Program for Young Scholars with Creative Talents in Heilongjiang Province (UNPYSCT-2016001), and the Startup Foundation of Heilongjiang Postdoctoral Fellows (LBH-Q17010). Valuable comments from anonymous reviewers and editor are highly appreciated.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Joint Research Center for Persistent Toxic Substances (IJRC-PTS), School of Water Conservancy and Civil EngineeringNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.IJRC-PTS, State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and EnvironmentHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  3. 3.Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesYantaiChina
  4. 4.The James Hutton InstituteAberdeenUK
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  6. 6.College of Urban and Environmental SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  7. 7.State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal ResearchChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina

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