Chemical composition of indoor and outdoor atmospheric particles at emperor Qin's Terra-cotta museum, Xi'an, China

Jun Ji Cao, Hua Li, Judith C. Chow, John G. Watson, Shuncheng Lee, Bo Rong, Jun gang Dong, Kin Fai Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor particles and microclimate were measured in summer (August 2004) and winter (January 2005) periods inside and outside Emperor Qin's Terra-Cotta Museum in Xi'an, China. Indoor temperature ranged from 21.9°C to 32.4°C in summer and from 0°C to 5.3°C in winter. Relative humidity varied from 56% to 80% in summer and from 48% to 78% in winter. The number concentrations of particles were lower (0.3-1.0 μm) in summer, and were higher (1.0-7.0 μm) in winter. The average indoor PM2.5and TSP concentrations were 108.4 ± 30.3 μg/m3and 172.4 ± 46.5 μg/m3in summer and were 242.3 ± 189.0 μg/m3and 312.5 ± 112.8 μg/m3in winter, respectively. Sulfate, organic matter, and geological material dominated indoor PM2.5, followed by ammonium, nitrate, and elemental carbon. Several milligram of sulfate particles can deposited in the museum per square meter each year based on the dry deposition estimate. High concentrations of acidic particles suspended inside the museum and their depositions have high risk for the erosion of the terra-cotta figures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-79
Number of pages10
JournalAerosol and Air Quality Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Acidic particles
  • Chemical composition
  • Indoor air quality
  • Terra-cotta museum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution

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