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Source characterization of urban particles from meat smoking activities in Chongqing, China using single particle aerosol mass spectrometry

Chen, Yang, Wenger, John C., Yang, Fumo, Cao, Junji, Huang, Rujin, Shi, Guangming, Zhang, Shumin, Tian, Mi, Wang, Huanbo
Environmental pollution 2017 v.228 pp. 92-101
Pinus, aerosols, air quality, biomass, branches, burning, carbon, emissions, mass spectrometry, meat, particulates, pollution, smoking (food products), spectrometers, urban areas, weather, winter, wood logs, China
A Single Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (SPAMS) was deployed in the urban area of Chongqing to characterize the particles present during a severe particulate pollution event that occurred in winter 2014–2015. The measurements were made at a time when residents engaged in traditional outdoor meat smoking activities to preserve meat before the Chinese Spring Festival. The measurement period was predominantly characterized by stagnant weather conditions, highly elevated levels of PM2.5, and low visibility. Eleven major single particle types were identified, with over 92.5% of the particles attributed to biomass burning emissions. Most of the particle types showed appreciable signs of aging in the stagnant air conditions. To simulate the meat smoking activities, a series of controlled smoldering experiments was conducted using freshly cut pine and cypress branches, both with and without wood logs. SPAMS data obtained from these experiments revealed a number of biomass burning particle types, including an elemental and organic carbon (ECOC) type that proved to be the most suitable marker for meat smoking activities. The traditional activity of making preserved meat in southwestern China is shown here to be a major source of particulate pollution. Improved measures to reduce emissions from the smoking of meat should be introduced to improve air quality in regions where smoking meat activity prevails.