Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 1691–1702 | Cite as

Gas-phase ammonia and PM2.5 ammonium in a busy traffic area of Nanjing, China

  • Wenxin Wang
  • Shanshan Wang
  • Jianhua Xu
  • Rui Zhou
  • Chanzhen Shi
  • Bin ZhouEmail author
Research Article


The gas-phase ammonia (NH3) and fine particle PM2.5 ammonium (pNH4 +) (collectively, NHx) were monitored between July 2013 and August 2014 in a busy traffic area of Nanjing, China. Results showed that PM2.5 concentration was 66.7 μg m−3, and NH3 concentration was 6.66 μg m−3. In the PM2.5, the concentration of pNH4 + was 3.04 μg m−3, SO4 2− (pSO4 2−) was 10.16 μg m−3, and NO3 (pNO3 ) was 1.60 μg m−3. The significant correlation curves from the tests of PM2.5 revealed that molar ratio of pNH4 + and pSO4 2− was approximately 2, which could be (NH4)2SO4. Particulate NH4 + primarily associated with pSO4 2−, which accounted for 4.54 % of total PM2.5 mass. The PM2.5 observed acidic and the NH3 in the atmosphere neutralized acidic species, mainly in a sulfate form. The traffic intensity in the region was partially related to the formation of PM2.5 and NH3, suggesting that traffic pollution may be an important source of PM2.5. The reaction between NHx and acidic species was assumed to the secondary PM2.5. The neutralization and photochemical property of NHx were discussed.


Atmospheric chemistry Gaseous ammonia Particulate ammonium PM2.5 Urban overpass 



This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grant no. 21277029, 40975076, Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (Grant: 12DJ1400102), and China Meteorological Administration (Grant: GYHY201106045-8). The authors also thank the support of the National High-Tech R&D Program (“863” Program, No. 2006AA06Z417).

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

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Fig. Sup1 (DOC 66 kb)
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Table Sup1 (DOC 47 kb)
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Table Sup2 (DOC 197 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenxin Wang
    • 1
  • Shanshan Wang
    • 3
  • Jianhua Xu
    • 4
  • Rui Zhou
    • 1
  • Chanzhen Shi
    • 1
  • Bin Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention, Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Fudan Tyndall CenterShanghaiChina
  3. 3.School of Environment and ArchitectureUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Nanjing Environmental Monitoring CenterNanjingChina

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