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Concentrations and gas-particle partitioning of atmospheric reactive mercury at an urban site in Beijing, China

Zhang, Huan, Wang, Zhangwei, Wang, Chunjie, Zhang, Xiaoshan
Environmental pollution 2019 v.249 pp. 13-23
air pollution, air temperature, chlorides, emissions, mercury, particulates, relative humidity, China
Measurements of speciated atmospheric mercury play a key role in identifying mercury behavior in the atmosphere. In this study, we measured speciated atmospheric mercury, including gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), reactive gaseous mercury (RGM), and particulate bound mercury (PBM) (<2.5 μm), in 2015 and 2016 at an urban site in Beijing, China. The mean concentrations of GEM, RGM, and PBM were 4.70 ± 3.53 ng m−3, 18.47 ± 22.27 pg m−3, and 85.18 ± 95.34 pg m−3, respectively. The concentration of PM2.5 significantly affected the distribution of reactive mercury between the gaseous and particulate phases. With the raising of PM2.5 levels, PBM concentrations increased, on the contrary, the concentrations of RGM decreased gradually. The mean concentration of PBM during air-pollution events was more than three times that during clear days. During days with air pollution, the relative humidity significantly affected the gas-particle partitioning of reactive mercury. The linear relationships between gas-particle partitioning coefficient and meteorological factors (air temperature and relative humidity) were obtained over the four seasons. The data also showed that the gas-particle partitioning coefficient of reactive mercury was related to particle composition (e.g., Cl−, BC). The data present in this paper suggested the influence of anthropogenic emissions on reactive mercury in Beijing urban. And the findings will contribute to understand the gas-particle partitioning of reactive mercury and its influencing factors with complex urban pollution.