Main content area

Diurnal variations of carbonaceous components, major ions, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in suburban aerosols from northern vicinity of Beijing

He, Nannan, Kawamura, Kimitaka, Kanaya, Yugo, Wang, Zifa
Atmospheric environment 2015 v.123 pp. 18-24
C3 plants, aerosols, air, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, calcium, carbon, chemical composition, combustion, diurnal variation, forests, fossil fuels, ions, mass transfer, nitrogen, stable isotopes, wind direction, China
We report diurnal variations of organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) and major ions as well as stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) in ambient aerosols at a suburban site (Mangshan), 40 km north of Beijing, China. We found that aerosol chemical compositions were largely controlled by the air mass transport from Beijing in daytime with southerly winds and by relatively fresh air mass in nighttime from the northern forest areas with northerly winds. Higher concentrations of aerosol mass and total carbon were obtained in daytime. Further, higher OC/EC ratios were recorded in daytime (4.0 ± 1.7) than nighttime (3.2 ± 0.7), suggesting that OC is formed by photochemical oxidation of gaseous precursors in daytime. Contributions of WSOC to OC were slightly higher in daytime (38%) than nighttime (34%), possibly due to secondary formation of WSOC in daytime. We also found higher concentrations of Ca2+ in daytime, which was originated from the construction dust in Beijing area and transported to the sampling site. δ13C ranged from −25.3 to −21.2‰ (ave. −23.5 ± 0.9‰) in daytime and −29.0 to −21.4‰ (−24.0 ± 1.5‰) in nighttime, suggesting that Mangshan aerosols were more influenced by fossil fuel combustion products in daytime and by terrestrial C3 plants in nighttime. This study suggests that daytime air mass delivery from megacity Beijing largely influence the air quality at the receptor site in the north together with photochemical processing of organic aerosols during the atmospheric transport, whereas the Mangshan site is covered with relatively clean air masses at night.