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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-120
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-120
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Mar 2019

Research article | 05 Mar 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Variability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their oxidative derivatives in wintertime Beijing, China

Atallah El zein1, Rachel Ellen Dunmore1, Martyn William Ward1, Jacqueline Fiona Hamilton1, and Alastair Charles Lewis2 Atallah El zein et al.
  • 1Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories, Department of chemistry, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK

Abstract. Ambient particulate matter (PM) can contain a mix of different toxic species derived from a wide variety of sources. This study quantifies the variation in diurnal and nocturnal abundance of 16 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), 10 Oxygenated PAHs (OPAHs) and 9 Nitrated PAHs (NPAHs) in ambient PM in central Beijing during winter. Target compounds were identified and quantified using Gas Chromatography – time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-Q-TOF-MS). The total concentration of PAHs varied between 18 and 297 ng m−3 over 3 h daytime filter samples and from 23 to 165 ng m−3 in 15 h night-time samples. The total concentrations of PAHs over 24 h varied between 37 and 180 ng m−3 (mean: 97 ng m−3). The total daytime concentrations during high particulate loading conditions for PAHs, OPAHs and NPAHs were 224, 54, and 2.3 ng m−3, respectively. The most abundant PAHs were fluoranthene (33 ng m−3), chrysene (27 ng m−3), pyrene (27 ng m−3), benzo(a)pyrene (27 ng m−3), benzo[b]fluoranthene (25 ng m−3), benzo[a]anthracene (20 ng m−3) and phenanthrene (18 ng m−3). 9,10-Anthraquinone (18 ng m−3), 1,8 Naphthalic anhydride (14 ng m−3) and 9-Fluorenone (12 ng m−3) were the three major OPAHs species, while 9-Nitroanthracene (0.84 ng m−3), 3-Nitrofluoranthene (0.78 ng m−3) and 3-Nitrodibenzofuran (0.45 ng m−3) were the three most abundant NPAHs. ∑PAHs and ∑OPAHs showed a strong positive correlation with the gas phase abundance of NO, CO, SO2, and HONO indicating that PAHs and OPAHs can be associated with both local and regional emissions. Diagnostic ratios suggested emissions from traffic road and coal combustion were the predominant sources for PAHs in Beijing, and also revealed the dominant source of NPAHs was secondary photochemical formation rather than primary emissions. PM2.5 and NPAHs showed a strong correlation with gas phase HONO. 9-Nitroanthracene appeared to undergo a photodegradation during the daytime and has shown a strong positive correlation with ambient HONO (R = 0.90, P < 0.001). The lifetime excess lung cancer risk for the species with available toxicological data (16 PAHs, 1 OPAH and 6 NPAHs) was calculated to be in the range 10−5 to 10−3 (risk per million people range from 26 to 2053).

Atallah El zein et al.
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Short summary
This article investigates on the chemical organic composition of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Beijing-China. It includes the identification and quantification of 35 polycylic aromatic compounds . It shows their distribution between daytime and night-time and the chemical relation with gas phase concentrations of other pollutants. We have identified major sources of emissions and we have reported an estimation of cancer risk associated with particles inhalations in Beijing.
This article investigates on the chemical organic composition of fine particulate matter (PM2.5)...
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