Highly time-resolved chemical characterization of atmospheric submicron particles during 2008 Beijing Olympic Games using an Aerodyne High-Resolution Aerosol Mass Spectrometer
1Key Laboratory for Urban Habitat Environmental Science and Technology, School of Environment and Energy, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen, China
2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
3Aerodyne Research, Inc. Billerica, MA, USA
4Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
Abstract. As part of Campaigns of Air Quality Research in Beijing and Surrounding Region–2008 (CAREBeijing-2008), an Aerodyne High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) was deployed in urban Beijing to characterize submicron aerosol particles during the time of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralytic Games (24 July to 20 September 2008). The campaign mean PM1 mass concentration was 63.1±39.8 μg m−3; the mean composition consisted of organics (37.9%), sulfate (26.7%), ammonium (15.9%), nitrate (15.8%), black carbon (3.1%), and chloride (0.87%). The average size distributions of the species (except BC) were all dominated by an accumulation mode peaking at about 600 nm in vacuum aerodynamic diameter, and organics was characterized by an additional smaller mode extending below 100 nm. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) analysis of the high resolution organic mass spectral dataset differentiated the organic aerosol into four components, i.e., hydrocarbon-like (HOA), cooking-related (COA), and two oxygenated organic aerosols (OOA-1 and OOA-2), which on average accounted for 18.1, 24.4, 33.7 and 23.7% of the total organic mass, respectively. The HOA was identified to be closely associated with primary combustion sources, while the COA mass spectrum showed high similarity to that measured from cooking aerosol emissions. The OOA components correspond to aged secondary organic aerosol. Although the two OOA components have similar elemental (O/C, H/C) compositions, they display differences in mass spectra and time series which appear to correlate with the different source regions sampled during the campaign. Back trajectory clustering analysis indicated that the southerly air flows were associated with the highest PM1 pollution during the campaign. This result is similar to observations made in the summer of 2006, although the average PM1 concentration level for the southerly air flows is 31% lower than for the 2008 campaign. Aerosol particles in southern airmasses were especially rich in inorganic and oxidized organic species. Aerosol particles in northern airmasses contained a large fraction of primary HOA and COA species, probably due to stronger influences from local emissions. The lowest concentration levels for all major species were obtained during the Olympic game days (8–24 August 2008), possibly due to the effects of both strict emission controls and favorable meteorological conditions.