Main content area

Radiocarbon-based impact assessment of open biomass burning on regional carbonaceous aerosols in North China

Zong, Zheng, Chen, Yingjun, Tian, Chongguo, Fang, Yin, Wang, Xiaoping, Huang, Guopei, Zhang, Fan, Li, Jun, Zhang, Gan
The Science of the total environment 2015 v.518-519 pp. 1-7
aerosols, agricultural wastes, air, anthropogenic activities, biomass, burning, carbon, particulates, China
Samples of total suspended particulates (TSPs) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were collected from 29th May to 1st July, 2013 at a regional background site in Bohai Rim, North China. Mass concentrations of particulate matter and carbonaceous species showed a total of 50% and 97% of the measured TSP and PM2.5 levels exceeded the first grade national standard of China, respectively. Daily concentrations of organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were detected 7.3 and 2.5μgm−3 in TSP and 5.2 and 2.0μgm−3 in PM2.5, which accounted 5.8% and 2.0% of TSP while 5.6% and 2.2% for PM2.5, respectively. The concentrations of OC, EC, TSP and PM2.5 were observed higher in the day time than those in the night time. The observations were associated with the emission variations from anthropogenic activities. Two merged samples representing from south and north source areas were selected for radiocarbon analysis. The radiocarbon measurements showed 74% of water-insoluble OC (WINSOC) and 59% of EC in PM2.5 derived from biomass burning and biogenic sources when the air masses were from south region, and 63% and 48% for the air masses from north, respectively. Combined with backward trajectories and daily burned area, open burning of agricultural wastes was found to be predominating, which was confirmed by the potential source contribution function (PSCF).