Characteristics of organic and elemental carbon in pm2.5 and pm0.25 in indoor and outdoor environments of a middle school: secondary formation of organic carbon and sources identification
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Xu, Hongmei; Guinot, Benjamin; Shen, Zhenxing; Ho, Kin; Niu, Xinyi; Xiao, Shun; Huang, Ru-Jin; Cao, Junji (2015). Characteristics of organic and elemental carbon in pm2.5 and pm0.25 in indoor and outdoor environments of a middle school: secondary formation of organic carbon and sources identification. Atmosphere 6 (3), 361-379
Secondary organic carbon (SOC) formation and its effects on human health require better understanding in Chinese megacities characterized by a severe particulate pollution and robust economic reform. This study investigated organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in PM2.5 and PM0.25 collected 8-20 March 2012. Samples were collected inside and outside a classroom in a middle school at Xi'an. On average, OC and EC accounted for 20%-30% of the particulate matter (PM) mass concentration. By applying the EC-tracer method, SOC's contribution to OC in both PM size fractions was demonstrated. The observed changes in SOC:OC ratios can be attributed to variations in the primary production processes, the photochemical reactions, the intensity of free radicals, and the meteorological conditions. Total carbon (TC) source apportionment by formula derivation showed that coal combustion, motor vehicle exhaust, and secondary formation were the major sources of carbonaceous aerosol. Coal combustion appeared to be the largest contributor to TC (50%), followed by motor vehicle exhaust (25%) and SOC (18%) in both size fractions.