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Atmosphere 2015, 6(3), 361-379; doi:10.3390/atmos6030361

Characteristics of Organic and Elemental Carbon in PM2.5 and PM0.25 in Indoor and Outdoor Environments of a Middle School: Secondary Formation of Organic Carbon and Sources Identification

1
Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China
2
Key Lab of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
3
Laboratoire d'Aerologie, Observatory Midi-Pyrenees, CNRS—University of Toulouse, Toulouse 31400, France
4
School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
5
School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China
6
Shaanxi Meteorological Bureau, Xi'an 710014, China
7
Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
8
Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
9
Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guohui Li and Robert W. Talbot
Received: 24 December 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sources, Formation and Impacts of Secondary Aerosol)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [946 KB, uploaded 17 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Secondary organic carbon (SOC) formation and its effects on human health require better understanding in Chinese megacities characterized by a severe particulate pollution and robust economic reform. This study investigated organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in PM2.5 and PM0.25 collected 8–20 March 2012. Samples were collected inside and outside a classroom in a middle school at Xi’an. On average, OC and EC accounted for 20%–30% of the particulate matter (PM) mass concentration. By applying the EC-tracer method, SOC’s contribution to OC in both PM size fractions was demonstrated. The observed changes in SOC:OC ratios can be attributed to variations in the primary production processes, the photochemical reactions, the intensity of free radicals, and the meteorological conditions. Total carbon (TC) source apportionment by formula derivation showed that coal combustion, motor vehicle exhaust, and secondary formation were the major sources of carbonaceous aerosol. Coal combustion appeared to be the largest contributor to TC (50%), followed by motor vehicle exhaust (25%) and SOC (18%) in both size fractions. View Full-Text
Keywords: OC and EC; SOC formation; very fine particles (VFP); TC sources; indoor and outdoor; school; Xi’an; China OC and EC; SOC formation; very fine particles (VFP); TC sources; indoor and outdoor; school; Xi’an; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, H.; Guinot, B.; Shen, Z.; Ho, K.F.; Niu, X.; Xiao, S.; Huang, R.-J.; Cao, J. Characteristics of Organic and Elemental Carbon in PM2.5 and PM0.25 in Indoor and Outdoor Environments of a Middle School: Secondary Formation of Organic Carbon and Sources Identification. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 361-379.

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