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Open AccessArticle

Long-Range Transport Influence on Key Chemical Components of PM2.5 in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, South Korea, during the Years 2012–2016

1
Department of Environmental and Safety Engineering, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Korea
2
Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Atlanta, GA 30354, USA
3
Air Resources Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, College Park, MD 20740, USA
4
Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, USA
5
Air Quality Improvement Bureau, National Council on Climate and Air Quality, Jongro 03181, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010048
Received: 27 October 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 27 December 2019 / Published: 29 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
This study identified the key chemical components based on an analysis of the seasonal variations of ground level PM2.5 concentrations and its major chemical constituents (sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, organic carbon, and elemental carbon) in the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA), over a period of five years, ranging from 2012 to 2016. It was found that the mean PM2.5 concentration in the SMA was 33.7 μg/m3, while inorganic ions accounted for 53% of the total mass concentration. The component ratio of inorganic ions increased by up to 61%–63% as the daily mean PM2.5 concentration increased. In spring, nitrate was the dominant component of PM2.5, accounting for 17%–32% of the monthly mean PM2.5 concentrations. In order to quantify the impact of long-range transport on the SMA PM2.5, a set of sensitivity simulations with the community multiscale air-quality model was performed. Results show that the annual averaged impact of Chinese emissions on SMA PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 41% to 44% during the five years. Chinese emissions’ impact on SMA nitrate ranged from 50% (winter) to 67% (spring). This result exhibits that reductions in SO2 and NOX emissions are crucial to alleviate the PM2.5 concentration. It is expected that NOX emission reduction efforts in China will help decrease PM2.5 concentrations in the SMA. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM2.5; SMA; chemical composition; sulfate; nitrate; long-range transport PM2.5; SMA; chemical composition; sulfate; nitrate; long-range transport
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Bae, C.; Kim, B.-U.; Kim, H.C.; Yoo, C.; Kim, S. Long-Range Transport Influence on Key Chemical Components of PM2.5 in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, South Korea, during the Years 2012–2016. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 48.

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