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Predication of the sources of particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in China with distinctive characteristics based on multivariate analysis

Zhang, Juan, Zhang, Yafei, Wang, Ruoyu, Chen, Huajin, Zhang, Minghua, Zhang, Jianfeng
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.185 pp. 841-851
air, benzo(a)pyrene, biomass, carcinogenicity, coal, combustion, cooking, emissions factor, gas engines, humans, particulates, petroleum, pollution, pollution control, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, power generation, principal component analysis, regression analysis, sediments, soil, straw, waste incineration, China
Particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have the characteristics of high carcinogenicity, degradation resistance, and long-distance transport. It is necessary to determine the critical sources that contribute to PAHs in atmospheric particulate matter (PM), soils, and sediments. In the present study, particulate PAHs were collected from Chinese cooking, biomass combustion, waste incineration, coal combustion, and petroleum combustion in different regions of the Chinese mainland. Through linear regression analysis, the relationships have been investigated between different measurement units, including the mass of particulate PAHs per mass of particle matter, mass of particulate PAHs per volume of air, and emission factors of particulate PAHs. This information helps to effectively evaluate the contamination level of PAHs among different studies. On the scale of the entire Chinese mainland, the top three sources of particulate PAHs are industrial coal combustion (11,244 t/year, 44.45%) > domestic coal combustion (7,797 t/year, 30.82%) > straw combustion (6,015 t/year, 23.78%). Efforts should be made to develop clean coal utilization. Although cooking contributes to a small amount of PAHs in China, it is extremely harmful for cooks [benzo(a)pyrene: 1.64 μg/m3]. Principal component analysis (PCA) is an effective method to identify various pollution sources. Using PCA, Chinese cooking, biomass combustion, waste incineration, domestic coal combustion, coking coal combustion, coal combustion for power generation, and diesel/gasoline engines that possess distinct PAH compositions are effectively discriminated from one another. Moreover, the characteristics of particulate PAHs emitted from human activities in China are not totally consistent with those in other countries. It is critical for pollution control to determine the distinctive characteristics of particulate PAHs emitted from typical production processes and life in China.