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Fossil Fuel-Derived Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Taiwan Strait, China, and Fluxes across the Air–Water Interface

Miaolei Ya, Li Xu, Yuling Wu, Yongyu Li, Songhe Zhao, Xinhong Wang
Environmental science & technology 2018 v.52 no.13 pp. 7307-7316
fluorenes, volatilization, carbon, burning, summer, radionuclides, water currents, anthracenes, estuaries, fossil fuels, winter, fossils, models, dry deposition, biomass, liquid-air interface, rivers, phenanthrenes, seawater, radiocarbon dating, South China Sea, Taiwan, China
On the basis of the application of compound-specific radiocarbon analysis (CSRA) and air–water exchange models, the contributions of fossil fuel and biomass burning derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as well as their air–water transport were elucidated. The results showed that fossil fuel-derived PAHs (an average contribution of 89%) presented the net volatilization process at the air–water interface of the Taiwan Strait in summer. Net volatile fluxes of the dominant fluorene and phenanthrene (>58% of the total PAHs) were 27 ± 2.8 μg m–² day–¹, significantly higher than the dry deposition fluxes (average 0.43 μg m–² day–¹). The Δ¹⁴C contents of selected PAHs (fluorene, phenanthrene plus anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene) determined by CSRA in the dissolved seawater ranged from −997 ± 4‰ to −873 ± 6‰, indicating that 89–100% (95 ± 4%) of PAHs were supplied by fossil fuels. The South China Sea warm current originating from the southwest China in summer (98%) and the Min-Zhe coastal current originating from the north China in winter (97%) input more fossil fuel PAHs than the Jiulong River estuary (90%) and Xiamen harbor water (93%). The more radioactive decayed ¹⁴C of fluoranthene (a 4-ring PAH) than that of phenanthrene and anthracene (3-ring PAHs) represented a greater fossil fuel contribution to the former in dissolved seawater.