Characterization of chemical species in PM2.5and PM10aerosols in Hong Kong

K. F. Ho, S. C. Lee, Chak K. Chan, Jimmy C. Yu, Judith C. Chow, X. H. Yao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

310 Citations (Scopus)


Aerosol samples for PM10and PM2.5were collected in wintertime from November 2000 to February 2001 at three different sampling locations in Hong Kong. PM10and PM2.5were collected by high-volume (hi-vol.) samplers and the concentrations of major elements, ions, organic and elemental carbons were quantified. The ratios of PM2.5/PM10were 0.61 and 0.78 at the PolyU campus and Kwun Tong (KT), respectively. These results indicated that the concentrations of PM2.5contribute the majority of the PM10fraction. The concentrations of anthropogenic species (e.g. Pb and Cu) in PM10and PM2.5measured at urban areas were generally higher than at an urban background site (Hok Tsui, HT). The major fractions of sulfate at three monitoring sites are non-sea-salts (nss) sulfates. Although HT is located in coastal areas, the contribution of sea salts to sulfate in fine particles was small, indicating a substantial anthropogenic origin. The OC/EC ratios were less than 2 in PolyU and KT monitoring stations for PM10and PM2.5. However, the OC/EC ratios were over 3 at HT for both PM10and PM2.5. This indicates the presence of secondary organic aerosols. Correlations between OC and EC as well as OC and sulfate in HT during both seasons were used to prove that atmospheric transport and transformation of anthropogenic organic species from northeastern area was the dominant source in winter. The chemical composition of the samples was reconstructed from the observed elemental composition. The contribution of the seven components, namely crustal matter, sea salt, ammonium, sulfate, nitrate, elemental carbon and organic matter accounted for 77-84% of the PM10and PM2.5mass in the urban area (PolyU and KT) and 74% for Hok Tsui (HT). Sulfate, organic matter and elemental carbon are the major constituents in particles especially in PM2.5collected at PolyU and KT. The major constituents of PM10in HT are sea salt and sulfate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Chemical composition
  • Elemental carbon
  • Organic carbon
  • Reconstruction of chemical composition
  • Urban PM and PM 10 2.5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution


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