Characteristics of carbonaceous aerosol in Pearl River Delta Region, China during 2001 winter period

J. J. Cao, S. C. Lee, K. F. Ho, X. Y. Zhang, S. C. Zou, Kochy Fung, Judith C. Chow, John G. Watson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

609 Citations (Scopus)


Concentrations and distributions of organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in atmospheric particles were measured at 8 sites in four cities (Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai) of Pearl River Delta Region (PRDR), China during two winter months (January and February, 2002). PM2.5and PM10samples were collected on pre-fired quartz filters with mini-volume samplers and analyzed using thermal optical reflectance (TOR) method. Average PM2.5and PM10level were 72.6 and 111.5μgm-3, respectively, with PM2.5constituting 70.4% of the PM10mass. The average OC and EC concentrations in PM2.5were 14.7 and 6.1μgm-3, respectively, while those in PM10were 19.7 and 7.8μgm-3, respectively. The carbonaceous aerosol accounted for 40.2% of the PM2.5and 35.9% of the PM10. The average OC/EC ratio was 2.4 for PM2.5and 2.5 for PM10, which are comparable with most urban cities in the world. The OC and EC in PRDR were found to be strongly correlated (correlation coefficients >0.7). Secondary organic carbon was found to constitute 42.6% and 38.4% of the total organic carbon in PM2.5and PM10, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1460
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Elemental carbon
  • Organic carbon
  • Pearl River Delta Region
  • PM 10
  • PM 2.5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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