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Source Identification of Trace Elements in PM2.5 at a Rural Site in the North China Plain

by Lei Liu 1, Yusi Liu 1, Wei Wen 2,3,*, Linlin Liang 1,*, Xin Ma 4, Jiao Jiao 5 and Kun Guo 6
State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather & Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry of China Meteorological Administration, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
Institute of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100089, China
School of Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
National Meteorological Center, Beijing 100081, China
Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine, Beijing 100176, China
Titan Instruments, Beijing 10015, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 179;
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 9 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Analysis Methods for Particle-Phase Pollutants)
An intensive sampling of PM2.5 was conducted at a rural site (Gucheng) in the North China Plain from 22 October to 23 November 2016. A total of 25 elements (Al, Na, Cl, Mg, P, S, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Sr, Cd, Ba, Pb, and Sb) from PM2.5 filter samples collected daily were measured using a wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Cl, S, and K were the most abundant elements, with average concentrations of 2077.66 ng m−3 (range 118.88–4638.96 ng m−3), 1748.78 ng m−3 (range 276.67–4335.59 ng m−3), and 1287.07 ng m−3 (range 254.90–2748.63 ng m−3), respectively. Among noncrustal trace metal elements, the concentration of Zn was the highest, with an average of 397.74 ng m−3 (range 36.45–1602.96 ng m−3), followed by Sb and Pb, on average, of 299.20 ng m−3 and 184.52 ng m−3, respectively. The morphologies of PM2.5 samples were observed using scanning electron microscopy. The shape of the particles was predominantly spherical, chain-like, and irregular. Positive matrix factorization analysis revealed that soil dust, following by industry, secondary formation, vehicle emissions, biomass and waste burning, and coal combustion, were the main sources of PM2.5. The results of cluster, potential source contribution function, and concentration weighted trajectory analyses suggested that local emissions from Hebei Province, as well as regional transport from Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, and Shanxi Province, and long-range transport from Inner Mongolia, were the main contributors to PM2.5 pollution.
Keywords: trace element; PM2.5; positive matrix factorization; potential source region. trace element; PM2.5; positive matrix factorization; potential source region.
MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, L.; Liu, Y.; Wen, W.; Liang, L.; Ma, X.; Jiao, J.; Guo, K. Source Identification of Trace Elements in PM2.5 at a Rural Site in the North China Plain. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 179.

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