Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 175–192 | Cite as

The sources and seasonal variations of organic compounds in PM2.5 in Beijing and Shanghai

  • Yilun Jiang
  • Ximei Hou
  • Guoshun Zhuang
  • Juan Li
  • Qiongzhen Wang
  • Rong Zhang
  • Yanfen Lin


Fine aerosol samples were collected throughout spring, summer, and winter in 2004∼2005 at a major urban traffic junction (BNU) and a suburban location (MY) in Beijing and at a downtown site (SH) in Shanghai, China. Ten of the 16 EPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), seven fatty acids, levoglucosan, and cholesterol were identified and quantified. PAHs detected in Beijing and Shanghai were up to one order of magnitude higher than those reported in the developed countries either in urban or suburban areas, while levoglucosan was one order of magnitude lower than that in other countries for no biomass combustion in domestic heating in the mega-cities in China. PAHs showed the same seasonal trend in all sampling sites as the highest in winter and the lowest in summer, while fatty acids no pronounced seasonal variation. A significant fraction of levoglucosan from cooking with higher concentrations in urban than in suburban area contributed to the ambient atmosphere, indicating that the main source of levoglucosan in urban environment would be cooking rather than biomass burning. The relative contributions of coal combustion and vehicle exhaust sources to PAHs in fine aerosols were preliminarily estimated to be 1:2 in Beijing and 1:1 in Shanghai, revealing that the air pollution in these mega-cities in China was mainly the mixing of coal combustion with vehicle exhaust. Cooking was one of the major sources of organic aerosols in both Beijing and Shanghai.


Organic aerosol PAHs Fatty acids Levoglucosan Source 



This work was supported by the National Key Project of Basic Research of China (Grant No.2006CB403704), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 20877020, 20977017, and 40575062).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yilun Jiang
    • 1
  • Ximei Hou
    • 2
  • Guoshun Zhuang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan Li
    • 1
  • Qiongzhen Wang
    • 1
  • Rong Zhang
    • 1
  • Yanfen Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Study, Department of Environmental Science & EngineeringFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Center for Atmospheric Environmental Study, Department of ChemistryBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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