The difference of multifractality of black carbon, NOx and CO at traffic site and its implications for air pollution sources

Abstract

The gaseous pollutant BC, CO and NOx in atmosphere are mainly emitted by vehicle exhaust at traffic dense metropolitan areas. It looks like that BC, CO and NOx are homologous in pollution sources and often used as fingerprints of traffic source at traffic dense metropolitan areas. However, these gaseous pollutants have also other significant pollution sources, such as power production sources, biomass burning, domestic cooking and natural process. Identification in the source categories of these three gaseous pollutants at traffic dense metropolitan areas needs more accurate methods. Here, detrended fluctuation analysis and multifractal methods are applied to homology analysis of BC, CO and NOx pollution sources based on the observational data from 1 July, 2015 to 30 June, 2016 for a traffic site in Hong Kong. The results show that BC, CO and NOx pollution are characterized by different long term correlations and multifractality. Long term effects of the past pollution emissions on pollution sources identification are very important, which is always neglected in previous studies. By K-means clustering method, a novel measure is proposed for describing the differences among the BC, CO and NOx pollution sources quantitatively. The comparison results suggest that fractal parameters can be new quantitative indexes reflecting the differences among BC, CO and NOx pollution sources. Multifractal parameters of air pollutants can be new benchmarks for testing the simulation results by air pollution sources identification. This work is helpful for the further improvement of air pollution sources identification methods.

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Acknowledgements

The work is supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province, China (No. 2020JJ4504), and Hunan Provincial Innovation Foundation for Postgraduate, China (No. CX20190872). We also thank anonymous referees and the editor-in-chief.

Funding

The work is supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province, China (No. 2020JJ4504), and Hunan Provincial Innovation Foundation for Postgraduate, China (No. CX20190872). The research has been supported.

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Authors

Contributions

Kai Shi: Data curation, Methodology, Investigation, Visualization, Writing- original draft, Visualization, Conceptualization. Chunqiong Liu: Supervision, Data curation, Writing-review & editing, Methodology. Yanhui Li: Data curation, Investigation, Visualization. Juan Du: Data curation, Formal Analysis.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chunqiong Liu.

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The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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The datasets used or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Shi, K., Liu, C., Li, Y. et al. The difference of multifractality of black carbon, NOx and CO at traffic site and its implications for air pollution sources. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-021-01981-7

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Keywords

  • Black carbon
  • Air pollution
  • Long term correlation
  • Multifractal
  • Sources identification