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Trends in particulate matter and its chemical compositions in China from 2013–2017

  • Yuesi WangEmail author
  • Wenjie Li
  • Wenkang Gao
  • Zirui Liu
  • Shili Tian
  • Rongrong Shen
  • Dongsheng Ji
  • Shuai Wang
  • Lili Wang
  • Guiqian Tang
  • Tao Song
  • Mengtian Cheng
  • Gehui Wang
  • Zhengyu Gong
  • Jiming Hao
  • Yuanhang ZhangEmail author
Research Paper SPECIAL TOPIC: Impact of the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan on air quality improvement in China
  • 16 Downloads

Abstract

Accurate determination of the atmospheric particulate matter mass concentration and chemical composition is helpful in exploring the causes and sources of atmospheric enthalpy pollution and in evaluating the rationality of environmental air quality control strategies. Based on the sampling and chemical composition data of PM2.5 in different key regions of China in the CARE-China observation network, this research analyzes the environmental air quality data released by the China National Environmental Monitoring Centre during the studied period to determine the changes in the particulate matter mass concentration in key regions and the evolution of the corresponding chemical compositions during the implementation of the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution from 2013–2017. The results show the following. (1) The particulate matter mass concentration in China showed a significant downward trend; however, the PM2.5 annual mass concentration in 64% of cities exceeds the New Chinese Ambient Air Quality Standard (CAAQS) Grade II (GB3095-2012). The region to the east of the Taihang Mountains, the Fenhe and Weihe River Plain and the Urumqi-Changji regions in Xinjiang, all have PM2.5 concentration loading that is still high, and heavy haze pollution occurred frequently in the autumn and winter. (2) During the heavy pollution in the autumn and winter, the concentrations of sulfate and organic components decreased significantly. The mean \({\rm{SO}}_4^{2-}\) concentration in PM2.5 decreased by 76%, 12%, 81% and 38% in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH), the Pearl River Delta (PRD), the Sichuan-Chongqing region (SC) and the Fenhe and Weihe River Plain, respectively. The mean organic matter (OM) concentration decreased by 70%, 44%, 48% and 31%, respectively, and the mean concentration of \({\rm{NH}}_4^+\) decreased by 68%, 1.6%, 38% and 25%, respectively. The mean elemental carbon (EC) concentration decreased by 84% and 20% in BTH and SC, respectively, and it increased by 61% and 11% in the PRD and Fenhe and Weihe River Plain, respectively. The mean concentration of mineral and unresolved chemical components (MI) dropped by 70%, 24% and 13% in BTH, the PRD and the Fenhe and Weihe River Plain, respectively. The change in the PM2.5 chemical composition is consistent with the decrease of the PM2.5 mass concentration. (3) In 2015, the mean OM concentration contributions to fine particles and coarse particles were 13–46% and 46–57%, respectively, and the mean MI concentration contributions to fine particles and coarse and particles were 31–60% and 39–73%, respectively; these values are lower than the 2013 values from the key regions, which is the most important factor behind the decrease of the particulate matter mass concentration. From 2013 to 2015, among the chemical components of different particle size fractions, the peak value of the coarse particle size fraction decreased significantly, and the fine particle size fractions of \({\rm{SO}}_4^{2-},{\rm{NO}}_4^-,\;{\rm{and}}\;{\rm{NH}}_4^+\) decreased with the decrease of the particulate matter mass concentration in different particle size fractions. The fine-particle size peaks of \({\rm{SO}}_4^{2-},{\rm{NO}}_4^-,\;{\rm{and}}\;{\rm{NH}}_4^+\) shifted from 0.65–1.1 μm to the finer size range of 0.43–0.65 μm during the same time frame.

Keywords

PM2.5 Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution Key regions Chemical composition Particle size distribution Variation characteristics 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology National Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2017YFC0210000), the Fundamental Heavy Pollution Cause and Governance Research Project (Grant No. DQGG0101) and the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission Capital Blue Sky Action and Cultivation Project (Grant No. Z181100005418014).

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuesi Wang
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    Email author
  • Wenjie Li
    • 1
    • 6
  • Wenkang Gao
    • 1
  • Zirui Liu
    • 1
  • Shili Tian
    • 1
  • Rongrong Shen
    • 1
  • Dongsheng Ji
    • 1
  • Shuai Wang
    • 2
  • Lili Wang
    • 1
  • Guiqian Tang
    • 1
    • 8
  • Tao Song
    • 1
  • Mengtian Cheng
    • 1
    • 7
  • Gehui Wang
    • 3
  • Zhengyu Gong
    • 2
  • Jiming Hao
    • 4
  • Yuanhang Zhang
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry (LAPC), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.China National Environmental Monitoring CentreBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science of the Ministry of Education, School of Geographic SciencesEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  5. 5.College of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  6. 6.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  7. 7.College of Atmospheric ScienceLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  8. 8.Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXiamenChina

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