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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-740
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
03 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Sources and oxidative potential of water-soluble humic-like substances (HULISWS) in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Beijing
Yiqiu Ma1,2, Yubo Cheng2, Xinghua Qiu1, Gang Cao3, Yanhua Fang1, Junxia Wang1, Tong Zhu1, Jianzhen Yu4, and Di Hu2,5,6 1State Key Joint Laboratory for Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
2Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, P. R. China
3Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen), Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Organic Pollution Prevention and Control, Shenzhen 518055, P. R. China
4Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, P. R. China
5State Key Laboratory of Environmental and Biological Analysis, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, P. R. China
6HKBU In stitute of Research and Continuing Education, Shenzhen Virtual University Park, Shenzhen, 518057, P. R. China
Abstract. Water-soluble humic-like substances (HULISWS) are a major redox-active component of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5); however, information on their sources and associated redox activity is limited. In this study, total HULISWS, various HULISWS species, and HULISWS-associated dithiothreitol (DTT) activity were quantified in PM2.5 samples collected during a 1-year period in Beijing. Strong correlation was observed between HULISWS and DTT activity; both exhibited higher levels during the heating season than during the non-heating season. Positive matrix factorization analysis of both HULISWS and DTT activity was performed. Four combustion-related sources, namely coal combustion, biomass burning, waste incineration, and vehicle exhaust, and one secondary factor were resolved. In particular, waste incineration was identified as a source of HULISWS for the first time. Biomass burning and secondary aerosol formation were the major contributors (> 59 %) to both HULISWS and associated DTT activity throughout the year. During the non-heating season, secondary aerosol formation was the most important source, whereas during the heating season, the predominant contributor was biomass burning. The four combustion-related sources accounted for > 70 % of HULISWS and DTT activity, implying that future reduction in PM2.5 emissions from combustion activities can substantially reduce the HULISWS burden and their potential health impact in Beijing.

Citation: Ma, Y., Cheng, Y., Qiu, X., Cao, G., Fang, Y., Wang, J., Zhu, T., Yu, J., and Hu, D.: Sources and oxidative potential of water-soluble humic-like substances (HULISWS) in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Beijing, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-740, in review, 2017.
Yiqiu Ma et al.
Yiqiu Ma et al.

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Short summary
Water-soluble humic-like substances (HULISWS) are a potential toxic component of PM2.5 for their redox activity. In this study, we measured HULISWS and associated redox activity in PM2.5 sampled during a 1-year period in Beijing and investigated their sources. We found biomass burning and secondary aerosol formation were the major contributors (> 59 %) to both HULISWS and redox activity, and the combustion-related primary sources accounted for > 70 % of HULISWS and redox activity.
Water-soluble humic-like substances (HULISWS) are a potential toxic component of PM2.5 for their...
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