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A preliminary analysis of the surface chemistry of atmospheric aerosol particles in a typical urban area of Beijing

A preliminary analysis of the surface chemistry of atmospheric aerosol particles in a typical urban area of Beijing

Journal of Environmental Sciences 47: 71-81

Atmospheric aerosol particle samples were collected using an Ambient Eight Stage (Non-Viable) Cascade Impactor Sampler in a typical urban area of Beijing from 27th Sep. to 5th Oct., 2009. The surface chemistry of these aerosol particles was analyzed using Static Time of Flight-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (Static TOF-SIMS). The factors influencing surface compositions were evaluated in conjunction with the air pollution levels, meteorological factors, and air mass transport for the sampling period. The results show that a variety of organic ion groups and inorganic ions/ion groups were accumulated on the surfaces of aerosol particles in urban areas of Beijing; and hydrophobic organic compounds with short- or middle-chain alkyl as well as hydrophilic secondary inorganic compounds were observed. All these compounds have the potential to affect the atmospheric behavior of urban aerosol particles. PM1.1-2.1 and PM3.3-4.7 had similar elements on their surfaces, but some molecules and ionic groups demonstrated differences in Time of Flight-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry spectra. This suggests that the quantities of elements varied between PM1.1-2.1 and PM3.3-4.7. In particular, more intense research efforts into fluoride pollution are required, because the fluorides on aerosol surfaces have the potential to harm human health. The levels of air pollution had the most significant influence on the surface compositions of aerosol particles in our study. Hence, heavier air pollution was associated with more complex surface compositions on aerosol particles. In addition, wind, rainfall, and air masses from the south also greatly influenced the surface compositions of these urban aerosol particles.

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Accession: 057087299

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PMID: 27593274

DOI: 10.1016/j.jes.2016.01.025

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