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Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 63;

Seasonal Variations and Sources of Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Chengdu, China

1, 1,2,* and 2
State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Synergetic Control and Joint Remediation for Soil & Water Pollution, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formation and Transformation of Organic Aerosol)
PDF [910 KB, uploaded 11 February 2018]


The concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the air of Chengdu, a southwest city of China, were determined from March 2015 to February 2016. Here, two diagnostic ratios (DR) were determined and a principal component analysis/multiple linear regression (PCA/MLR) analysis was performed to identify the sources of PAHs during the four seasons. The gaseous and particle phase samples were analyzed separately. The sampled air had a gas-to particle ratio of 4.21, and between 18.7% and 31.3% of the total detected PAHs were found in the particulate phase. The total concentration of all 16-PAHs combined (gas + particles) varied from 176.94 in summer to 458.95 ng·m−3 in winter, with a mean of 300.35 ± 176.6 ng·m−3. In the gas phase, phenanthrene(Phe) was found at the highest concentrations in all four seasons, while benzo[b]fluoranthene(BbF) and (in winter) chrysene(Chr) were the highest in the particle phase. The DR of Fluroanthene (Flua)/(Flua + Pyrene (Pyr)) was higher in the gas phase than in the particle phase, while the Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene(IcdP)/(IcdP + Benzo[ghi]perylene (BghiP)) ratio was more variable in the gas than that in the particle phase. The main sources for both phases were a mixture of liquid fossil fuel combustion and the burning of biomass and coal, with clear seasonal variation. Principal Component Analysis/Multiple Linear Regression (PCA/MLR) analysis identified the main PAH sources as coal burning (52%) with motor vehicle exhaust and coke (48%) in spring; coal (52%), coke (21%), and motor vehicle exhaust (27%) in summer; coal (47%), vehicle exhaust (34%), and coke (19%) in autumn; and coal (58%) and vehicle exhaust (42%) in winter. View Full-Text
Keywords: PAHs; source apportionment; diagnostic ratios; PCA/MLR PAHs; source apportionment; diagnostic ratios; PCA/MLR

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Yang, J.; Xu, W.; Cheng, H. Seasonal Variations and Sources of Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Chengdu, China. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 63.

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