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Characterization and source analysis of water-soluble inorganic ionic species in PM2.5 in Taiyuan city, China

He, Qiusheng, Yan, Yulong, Guo, Lili, Zhang, Yanli, Zhang, Guixiang, Wang, Xinming
Atmospheric research 2017 v.184 pp. 48-55
air, ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, autumn, biomass, branches, burning, calcium, cations, chlorides, coal, combustion, corn stover, fluorides, heat, industry, inorganic ions, ion exchange chromatography, magnesium, particulates, pollutants, potassium, seasonal variation, sodium, soil, summer, topography, trees, urban areas, wind speed, winter, China, United States
PM2.5 samples were collected in urban area in Taiyuan for four seasons from August 2009 to April 2010. The Water-soluble inorganic ions (WSI, including F−, Cl−, NO3−, SO42−, Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+) were analyzed by ion chromatography. The daily PM2.5 levels in the field samples varied from 49.90 to 477.93μg/m3 with the mean of 209.54μg/m3, which all largely exceeded the PM2.5 24-hour limitation value of 35μg/m3 in Environmental Protection Administration of United States and 75μg/m3 in Ministry of Environmental Protection of China. The WSI average concentration was 68.86μg/m3 and accounted for about 32.86% of PM2.5. As the most abundant anion and cation, SO42− and NH4+ were 43.53 and 14.78 percent of WSI, respectively. PM2.5 in Taiyuan was acidic by the micro-equivalents concentration methods but nearly neutral in autumn, and the chemical forms of WSI were mainly NH4HSO4, (NH4)2SO4 and NH4NO3. PM2.5 and WSI levels showed obvious seasonal variation and were the highest in winter in all samples. PM2.5, SO42−, and some coal-related ions such as NH4+ and Cl− were higher in winter than other seasons, which mainly attributed to more coal combustion for power and indoor heating supply. The ratio analysis showed that Mg2+ and Ca2+ were not only from soil dust, but also from coal combustion and industry emission. Biomass burning such as the cornstalk and tree branches led to the highest K+ emission in autumn and summer. Wind had a regular influence on the PM2.5 and WSI, and would transport the soil dust mainly from the northwest and also lead to re-suspension of dust in the air when the wind speed was high. Furthermore, the dustpan topography easily helped the pollutants to concentrate in Taiyuan city, and some coal coking industries might contribute to high PM2.5 and WSI in Taiyuan.