Acta Geochimica

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 334–345 | Cite as

Chemical characterization and sources of PM2.5 at 12-h resolution in Guiyang, China

  • Longchao Liang
  • Na Liu
  • Matthew S. Landis
  • Xiaohang Xu
  • Xinbin Feng
  • Zhuo Chen
  • Lihai Shang
  • Guangle Qiu
Original Article


The increasing emission of primary and gaseous precursors of secondarily formed atmospheric particulate matter due to continuing industrial development and urbanization are leading to an increased public awareness of environmental issues and human health risks in China. As part of a pilot study, 12-h integrated fine fraction particulate matter (PM2.5) filter samples were collected to chemically characterize and investigate the sources of ambient particulate matter in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, southwestern China. Results showed that the 12-h integrated PM2.5 concentrations exhibited a daytime average of 51 ± 22 µg m−3 (mean ± standard deviation) with a range of 17–128 µg m−3 and a nighttime average of 55 ± 32 µg m−3 with a range of 4–186 µg m−3. The 24-h integrated PM2.5 concentrations varied from 15 to 157 µg m−3, with a mean value of 53 ± 25 µg m−3, which exceeded the 24-h PM2.5 standard of 35 µg m−3 set by USEPA, but was below the standard of 75 µg m−3, set by China Ministry of Environmental Protection. Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) was applied to determine PM2.5 chemical element concentrations. The order of concentrations of heavy metals in PM2.5 were iron (Fe) > zinc (Zn) > manganese (Mn) > lead (Pb) > arsenic (As) > chromium (Cr). The total concentration of 18 chemical elements was 13 ± 2 µg m−3, accounting for 25% in PM2.5, which is comparable to other major cities in China, but much higher than cities outside of China.


Trace elements PM2.5 Source apportionment 



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its Office of Research and Development, partially funded and participated in the research described here through cooperative agreement CR-833232-01 through the U.S. National Science Foundation-National Research Council Research Associateship Award. We acknowledge Dr. Teri L. Conner for X-Ray Fluorescence data analysis with her comments. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of EPA. It has been subjected to EPA Agency review and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. This research was also partially funded by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (2013CB430004) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40773067).


  1. Adamson IY, Prieditis H, Hedgecock C, Vincent R (2000) Zinc is the toxic factor in the lung response to an atmospheric particulate sample. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 166:111–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson RR, Martello DV, White CM, Crist KC, John K, Modey WK, Eatough DJ (2004) The regional nature of PM2.5 episodes in the upper Ohio River valley. J Air Waste Manag 54(8):971–984CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chan YC, Simpson RW, Mctainsh GH, Vowles PD, Cohen DD, Bailey GM (1997) Characterization of chemical species in PM2.5 and PM10 aerosols in Brisbane, Australia. Atmos Environ 31(22):3773–3785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan KL, Wang SS, Liu C, Zhou B, Wenig MO, Saiz-Lopez A (2016) On the summertime air quality and related photochemical processes in the megacity Shanghai, China. Sci Total Environ 580:974–983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chao CY, Wong KK (2002) Residential indoor PM10 and PM2.5 in Hong Kong and the elemental composition. Atmos Environ 36(2):265–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Charron A, Harrison RM (2005) Fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM2.5-10) particulate matter on a heavily trafficked London highway: sources and processes. Environ Sci Technol 39:7768–7776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chate DM, Rao PSP, Naik MS, Momin GA, Safai PD, Ali K (2003) Scavenging of aerosols and their chemical species by rain. Atmos Environ 37:2477–2484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chester R, Nimmo M, Preston MR (1999) The trace metal chemistry of atmospheric dry deposition samples collected at Cap Ferrat: a coastal site in the Western Mediterranean. Mar Chem 68(1–2):15–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Costa DL, Dreher KL (1997) Bioavailable transition metals in particulate matter mediate cardiopulmonary injury in healthy and compromised animal models. Environ Health Perspect 105(Suppl. 5):1053–1060CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crilley LR, Ayoko GA, Stelcer E, Cohen DD, Mazaheri M, Morawska L (2014) Elemental composition of ambient fine particles in urban schools: sources of children’s exposure. Aerosol Air Qual Res 14(7):1906–1916Google Scholar
  11. Cristaldi M, Foschi C, Szpunar G, Carlo Brini, Marinelli F, Triolo L (2013) Toxic emissions from a military test site in the territory of Sardinia, Italy. Int J Env Res Publ Health 10(4):1631–1646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dan M, Zhuang G, Li X, Tao H, Zhuang Y (2004) The characteristics of carbonaceous species and their sources in PM2.5 in Beijing. Atmos Environ 38(21):3443–3452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Egondi T, Muindi K, Kyobutungi C, Gatari M, Rocklöv J (2016) Measuring exposure levels of inhalable airborne particles (PM2.5) in two socially deprived areas of Nairobi, Kenya. Environ Res 148:500–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Farinha MM, Almeida SM, Freitas MC, Verburg TG, Wolterbeek HT (2009) Influence of meteorological conditions on PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 elemental concentrations on Sado estuary area, Portugal. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 282(3):815–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Feng XB, Shang LH, Wang SF, Tang SL, Zheng W (2004) Temporal variation of total gaseous mercury in the air of Guiyang, China. J Geophys Res 109(109):215–229Google Scholar
  16. Figueroa DA, Rodríguez-Sierra CJ, Jiménez-Velez BD (2006) Concentrations of Ni and V, other heavy metals, arsenic, elemental and organic carbon in atmospheric fine particles (PM2.5) from Puerto Rico. Toxicol Ind Health 22:87–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gao Y, Guo XY, Li HJ, Tang L, Ji HB (2015a) Characteristics of PM2.5 in Miyun, the northeastern suburb of Beijing: chemical composition and evaluation of health risk. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:16688–16699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gao Y, Guo XY, Li HJ, Tang L, Ji HB (2015b) Characteristics of PM2.5 in Miyun, the northeastern suburb of Beijing: chemical composition and evaluation of health risk. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:16688–16699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gu JX, Bai ZP, Li WF, Wu LP, Liu AX, Dong HY, Xie YY (2011) Chemical composition of PM2.5 during winter in Tanjin, China. Particuology 9(3):215–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. HEI NPACT Review Panel (2013) Executive summary. HEI’s National Particle Component Toxicity (NPACT) initiative. Health Effects Institute, BostonGoogle Scholar
  21. Huang J, Choi HD, Hopke PK, Holsen TM (2010) Ambient mercury sources in Rochester, NY: results from principle components analysis (PCA) of mercury monitoring network data. Environ Sci Technol 44(22):8441–8445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Huang RJ, Zhang YL, Bozzetti C, Ho KF, Cao JJ, Han YM, Daellenbach KR, Slowik JG, Platt SM et al (2014) High secondary aerosol contribution to particulate pollution during haze events in China. Nature 514(7521):218–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huang P, Zhang J, Tang Y, Liu L (2015) Spatial and temporal distribution of PM2.5 pollution in Xi’an city, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12(6):6608–6625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jung CH, Kim YP, Lee KW (2003) A moment model for simulating raindrop scavenging of aerosols. J Aerosol Sci 34:1217–1233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kelly FJ, Fussell JC (2012) Size, source and chemical composition as determinants of toxicity attributable to ambient particulate matter. Atmos Environ 60:504–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kim JJ, Smorodinsky S, Lipsett M, Singer BC, Hodgson AT, Ostro B (2004) Traffic-related air pollution near busy roads–the East Bay children’s respiratory health study. Am J Respir Crit Care 170(5):520–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kodavanti UP, Hauser R, Christiani DC, Meng ZH, McGee J, Ledbetter A, Richards J, Costa DL (1998) Pulmonary responses to oil fly ash particles in the rat differ byvirtue of their specific soluble metals. Toxicol Sci 43:204–212Google Scholar
  28. Kong SF, Ji YQ, Lu B, Zhao XY, Han B, Bai ZP (2014) Similarities and differences in PM2.5, PM10 and TSP chemical profiles of fugitive dust sources in a coastal oilfield city in China. Aerosol Air Qual Res 14:2017–2028Google Scholar
  29. Kulshrestha A, Satsangi PG, Masih J, Taneja A (2009) Metal concentration of PM2.5 and PM10particles and seasonal variations in urban and rural environment of Agra, India. Sci Total Environ 407(24):6196–6204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lai SC, Zhao Y, Ding AJ, Zhang YY, Song TL, Zheng JY, Ho KF, Lee SC, Zhong LJ (2016) Characterization of PM2.5, and the major chemical components during a 1-year campaign in rural Guangzhou, southern China. Atmos Res 167:208–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Landis MS, Norris GA, Williams RW, Weinstein J (2001) Personal exposures to PM2.5 mass and trace elements in Baltimore, MD, USA. Atmos Environ 35:6511–6524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lewtas J (2007) Air pollution combustion emissions: characterization of causative agents and mechanisms associated with cancer, reproductive, and cardiovascular effects. Mutat Res 636(1–3):95–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Li G, Fang C, Wang S, Sun S (2016) The effect of economic growth, urbanization, and industrialization on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations in China. Environ Sci Technol 50(21):11452–11459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marcazzan GM, Vaccaro S, Valli G, Vecchi R (2001) Characterization of PM10 and PM2.5 particulate matter in the ambient air of Milan (Italy). Atmos Environ 35:4639–4650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Morishita M, Keeler GJ, Kamal AS, Wagner JG, Harkema JR, Rohr AC (2011) Source identification of ambient PM2.5 for inhalation exposure studies in Steubenville, Ohio using highly time-resolved measurements. Atmos Environ 45(40):7688–7697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nováková T, Grygar TM, Kotková K, Elznicová J, Strnad L, Mihaljevič M (2016) Pollution assessment using local enrichment factors: the Berounka River (Czech Republic). J Soil Sedim 16(3):1081–1092CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Oakes MM, Burke JM, Norris GA, Kovalcik KD, Pancras JP, Landis MS (2016) Near-road enhancement and solubility of fine and coarse particulate matter trace elements near a major interstate in detroit, michigan. Atmos Environ 145:213–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Paatero P, Hopke PK, Begum BA, Biswas SK (2005) A graphical diagnostic method for assessing the rotation in factor analytical models of atmospheric pollution. Atmos Environ 39(1):193–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pacyna EG, Pacyna JM (2002) Global emission of mercury from anthropogenic sources in 1995. Water Air Soil Poll 137(1):149–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pancras JP, Landis MS, Norris GA, Vedantham R, Dvonch JT (2013) Source apportionment of ambient fine particulate matter in Dearborn, Michigan, using hourly resolved pm chemical composition data. Sci Total Environ 448(6):2–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pandis SN, Seinfeld JH (1992) Heterogeneous sulfate production in an urban fog. Atmos Environ Part A 14:2509–2522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pope CA III, Burnett RT, Thurston GD, Thun MJ, Calle EE, Krewski D, Godleski JJ (2004) Cardiovascular mortality and long-term exposure to particulate air pollution: epidemiological evidence of general pathophysiological pathways of disease. Circulation 109:71–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Querol X, Alastuey A, Rodrigueza S, Plana F, Ruiza CR, Cotsb N, Massague G, Puig O (2001) PM10 and PM2.5 source apportionment in the Barcelona Metropolitan area, Catalonia, Spain. Atmos Environ 35:6407–6419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Raes F, Dingenen RV, Vignati E, Wilson J, Putaud JP, Seinfeld JH, Adams P (2000) Formation and cycling of aerosols in the global troposphere. Atmos Environ 34(25):4215–4240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rogge WF, Hildemann LM, Mazurek MA, Cass GR, Simoneit BRT (1993) Sources of fine organic aerosol. 3. Road dust, tire debris, and organometallic brake lining dust: roads as sources and sinks. Environ Sci Technol 27(9):1892–1904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shen ZJ, Cao JJ, Zheng LM, Li L, Zhang Q, Li JJ, Han YM, Zhu CS, Zhao ZZ, Liu SX (2014) Day-night differences and seasonal variations of chemical species in PM10 over Xi’an, northwest China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21(5):3697–3705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shen ZX, Sun J, Cao JJ, Zhang LM, Zhang Q et al (2016) Chemical profiles of urban fugitive dust PM2.5 samples in Northern Chinese cities. Sci Total Environ 569–570:619–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shen LJ, Wang HL, Lü S, Li L, Yuan J, Zhang XH, Tian XD, Tang Q (2016) Observation of aerosol size distribution and new particle formation at a coastal city in the Yangtze River Delta, China. Sci Total Environ 565:1175–1184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Solomon PA, Costantini M, Grahame TJ, Gerlofs-Nijland ME, Cassee F, Russell AG, Brook JR, Hopke PK, Hidy G, Phalen RF, Saldiva P et al (2012) Air pollution and health: bridging the gap from sources to health outcomes: conference summary. Air Qual Atmos Health 5(1):9–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Song Y, Zhang HY, Xie SD, Zeng LM, Zheng M, Salmon LG, Shao M, Slanina S (2006) Source apportionment of PM2.5 in Beijing by positive matrix factorization. Atmos Environ 40(8):1526–1537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Soto-Jiménez M, Páez-Osuna F, Ruiz-Fernández AC (2003) Geochemical evidences of the anthropogenic alteration of trace metal composition of the sediments of Chiricahueto marsh (SE Gulf of California). Environ Pollut 125(3):423–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stanek LW, Sacks JD, Dutton SJ, Dubois JJB (2011) Attributing health effects to apportioned components and sources of particulate matter: an evaluation of collective results. Atmos Environ 45(32):5655–5663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tao J, Zhang L, Engling G, Zhang R, Yang Y, Cao JJ, Zhu CS, Wang QY, Luo L (2013) Chemical composition of PM2.5, in an urban environment in Chengdu, China: importance of springtime dust storms and biomass burning. Atmos Res 122(3):270–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tian C, Zhang JY, Gupta R, Zhao YC, Wang S (2015) Chemistry, mineralogical, and residence of arsenic in a typical high arsenic coal. Int J Miner Process 141:61–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Toledo VE, Quiterio SL, Arbilla G, Moreira A, Escaleira V, Moreira JC (2008) Evaluation of levels, sources and distribution of toxic elements in PM10 in a suburban industrial region, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Environ Monit Assess 139(1–3):49–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. US EPA (2009) Final report: Integrated science assessment for particulate matter. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R–08/139FGoogle Scholar
  57. Wallenborn JG, Schladweiler MJ, Richards JH, Kodavanti UP (2009) Differential pulmonary and cardiac effects of pulmonary exposure to a panel of particulate matter-associated metals. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 241(1):71–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wang XH, Bi XH, Sheng GY, Fu JM (2006) Chemical composition and sources of PM10 and PM2.5 aerosols in Guangzhou, China. Environ Monit Assess 119(1):425–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wang P, Cao JJ, Tie XX, Wang GH, Li GH, Hu TF et al (2015) Impact of meteorological parameters and gaseous pollutants on PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentrations during 2010 in Xi’an, China. Aerosol Air Qual Res 15:1844–1854Google Scholar
  60. Wang J, Pan YP, Tian SL, Chen X, Wang L, Wang Y (2016) Size distributions and health risks of particulate trace elements in rural areas in northeastern China. Atmos Res 168:191–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wang JZ, Ho SSH, Ma SX, Cao JJ, Dai WT, Liu SX et al (2016) Characterization of PM2.5 in Guangzhou, China: uses of organic markers for supporting source apportionment. Sci Total Environ 550:961–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wang YL, Yang W, Han B, Zhang WJ, Chen MD, Bai ZP (2016) Gravimetric analysis for PM2.5 mass concentration based on year-round monitoring at an urban site in Beijing. J Environ Sci-China 40:154–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. White EM, Keeler GJ, Barres J, Landis MS (2013) Determination of mercury wet deposition physicochemistry in the Ohio River Valley through automated sequential sampling. Sci Total Environ 448:107–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. World Health Organization (2005) WHO air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide-global update 2005-summary of risk assessment. WHO/SDE/PHE/OEH/06.02, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  65. Xu G, Li XQ, Huang RS, Jiang W, Ding WC (2008) Seasonal variations of HCOOH and HCHO in precipitation in Guiyang. Environ Sci 29(7):1780–1784Google Scholar
  66. Xu XH, Liu N, Landis MS, Feng XB, Qiu GL (2016) Characteristics and distributions of atmospheric mercury emitted from anthropogenic sources in Guiyang, southwestern China. Acta Geochim 35(3):240–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Xu HM, Cao JJ, Chow JC, Huang RJ, Shen ZX, Chen LWA et al (2016) Inter-annual variability of wintertime PM2.5 chemical composition in Xi’an, China: evidences of changing source emissions. Sic Total Environ 545:546–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Yamasoe MA, Artaxo P, Miguel AH, Allen AG (2000) Chemical composition of aerosol particles from direct emissions of vegetation fires in the Amazon Basin: water-soluble species and trace elements. Atmos Environ 34(10):1641–1653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yan SJ, Cao H, Chen Y, Wu CZ, Hong T, Fan HL (2016) Spatial and temporal characteristics of air quality and air pollutants in 2013 in Beijing. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:13996–14007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Yang J, Fu Q, Guo XS, Chu BL, Yao YW, Teng YG, Wang YY (2015) Concentrations and seasonal variation of ambient PM2.5, and associated metals at a typical residential area in Beijing, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 94(2):232–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ye BM, Ji XL, Yang HZ, Yao XH, Chan CK, Cadle SH, Chan T, Mulawa PA (2003) Concentration and chemical composition of PM2.5 in Shanghai for a 1-year period. Atmos Environ 33:499–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zhao YC, Zhang JY, Huang WC, Wang ZH, Li Y, Song DY, Zhao FH, Zheng CG (2008) Arsenic emission during combustion of high arsenic coals from Southwestern Guizhou, China. Energy Convers Manag 49:615–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhao MF, Qiao T, Huang ZS, Zhu MY, Xu W, Xiu GL, Tao J, Lee SC (2015) Comparison of ionic and carbonaceous compositions of PM2.5 in 2009 and 2012 in Shanghai, China. Sci Total Environ 536:695–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zhu CS, Cao JJ, Zhou JM, Liu SX, Dai WT, Zhang T, Zhao ZZ, Shen ZX, Li H, Wang P (2015) A case study of chemical characteristics of daytime and nighttime ambient particles in Shanghai, China. Atmosphere 6(8):1141–1153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zíková N, Wang YG, Yang FM, Li XH, Tian M, Hopke PK (2016) On the source contribution to Beijing PM2.5 concentrations. Atmos Environ 134:84–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Longchao Liang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Na Liu
    • 2
  • Matthew S. Landis
    • 4
  • Xiaohang Xu
    • 2
  • Xinbin Feng
    • 2
  • Zhuo Chen
    • 3
  • Lihai Shang
    • 2
  • Guangle Qiu
    • 2
  1. 1.Guizhou UniversityGuiyangChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Environmental GeochemistryInstitute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangChina
  3. 3.Guizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina
  4. 4.U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle ParkDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations