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Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 269;

Physicochemical Characteristics and Possible Sources of Individual Mineral Particles in a Dust Storm Episode in Beijing, China

State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, College of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Kumamoto 862-8502, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Megacities: Air Quality Impacts from Local to Global Scales)
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Beijing frequently experiences dust storms during spring, which result in deteriorated visibility and cause negative health impacts. In this paper, the dust particles were collected during a dust storm episode on 4–5 May 2017 in Beijing, and the samples before and after the dust storm were also collected. The morphology and elemental and mineralogical compositions of the dust samples were investigated using a transmission electron microscope equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (TEM-EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The TEM-EDX results showed that the particles in the dust samples were mainly Si-rich, Ca-rich, S-rich, Fe-rich, Al-rich, Ti-rich, K-rich, Na-rich and Mg-rich particles. The XRD results demonstrated that the minerals in PM10 samples were mainly clay, calcite, quartz, dolomite, plagioclase, potassium feldspar and hematite, in descending order of their contents. The clay minerals, having the highest content, were mainly kaolinite, chlorite and illite. The mixing state and aging degree of mineral particles before, during and after the dust storm episode behaved very differently. The mineral particles collected before and after the dust storm tended to have an internal mixing state, dominated by the S-rich particles internally mixed with alkaline mineral particles, revealing a more serious ageing degree. The mineral particles collected during the dust storm did not show clear internal mixing, revealing a less serious ageing degree. The amount of the Si-rich, Al-rich, Ca-rich and Ti-rich particles was highest during the dust storm, indicating that these particles mainly originated from long-distance transportation. The S-rich, Fe-rich, K-rich, Na-rich and Mg-rich particles were mainly enriched in the samples before and after the dust storm episode, indicating that they mainly originated from local sources. A comparison of the values of S/(Si + Al) in the individual particles with the particle sizes revealed that the finer mineral particles were associated with higher S contents before and after the dust storm, while the coarse particles were associated with lower S contents during the dust storm. View Full-Text
Keywords: individual mineral particle; dust storm; TEM-EDX; XRD; mixing state; Beijing individual mineral particle; dust storm; TEM-EDX; XRD; mixing state; Beijing

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Li, J.; Shao, L.; Chang, L.; Xing, J.; Wang, W.; Li, W.; Zhang, D. Physicochemical Characteristics and Possible Sources of Individual Mineral Particles in a Dust Storm Episode in Beijing, China. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 269.

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