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PAHs in fine particles over Xi’an, a typical northwestern city in China: sources, distribution, and controlling factors

Abstract

Levels of particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are affected by emission as well as multiple factors. In this study, we investigated sources, uptake, affinity, and removal mechanism of PAHs in fine particles (PM2.5). Source strength was analyzed with source apportionment, which was conducted by principal component analysis (PCA), positive matrix factorization (PMF) and diagnostic ratio. The octanol-air and soot-air partitioning model was used to elucidate the partitioning behavior of PM2.5 PAHs. And chemical reactivity of PM2.5 PAHs was analyzed to explain PAHs removal from particles. Coal combustion, biomass burning, and vehicle emissions comprised the major sources of PAHs. The process of partitioning was thermally controlled and component-dependent. Heterogeneous reaction with NO2, OH, and O3, as well as the aqueous reaction, effectively reduced PM2.5 PAHs levels. The systematic analysis combined with field observations revealed that emission strength is the dominant factor controlling PM2.5 PAH distribution. Source strength governed level of PM2.5 PAHs though uptake, partitioning behavior and chemical removal kinetics, and peripheral imposing non-ignorable impact. Heterogeneous and aqueous reactions were the dominating mechanism of PAH removal from particles. This research provides a comprehensive insight into controlling factors on PM2.5 PAH distribution in Xi'an, as well as a theoretical basis for critical steps to control PAH levels.

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Mar 2018, accepted on 04 Aug 2018 and first published on 08 Aug 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00144H
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    PAHs in fine particles over Xi’an, a typical northwestern city in China: sources, distribution, and controlling factors

    Y. Zeng, Z. Shen, Y. Lei, T. Zhang, Q. Zhang, H. Xu, Q. Wang, J. Cao and Y. Liu, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00144H

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