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The rural carbonaceous aerosols in coarse, fine, and ultrafine particles during haze pollution in northwestern China

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Abstract

The carbonaceous aerosol concentrations in coarse particle (PM10: Dp ≤ 10 μm, particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm), fine particle (PM2.5: Dp ≤ 2.5 μm), and ultrafine particle (PM0.133: Dp ≤ 0.133 μm) carbon fractions in a rural area were investigated during haze events in northwestern China. The results indicated that PM2.5 contributed a large fraction in PM10. OC (organic carbon) accounted for 33, 41, and 62 % of PM10, PM2.5, and PM0.133, and those were 2, 2.4, and 0.4 % for EC (elemental carbon) in a rural area, respectively. OC3 was more abundant than other organic carbon fractions in three PMs, and char dominated EC in PM10 and PM2.5 while soot dominated EC in PM0.133. The present study inferred that K+, OP, and OC3 are good biomass burning tracers for rural PM10 and PM2.5, but not for PM0.133 during haze pollution. Our results suggest that biomass burning is likely to be an important contributor to rural PMs in northwestern China. It is necessary to establish biomass burning control policies for the mitigation of severe haze pollution in a rural area.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41271481).

Author information

Correspondence to Chong-Shu Zhu.

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Responsible editor: Gerhard Lammel

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Zhu, C., Cao, J., Tsai, C. et al. The rural carbonaceous aerosols in coarse, fine, and ultrafine particles during haze pollution in northwestern China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 4569–4575 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5694-x

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Keywords

  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • Elemental carbon
  • Organic carbon
  • Rural area