High loadings and source strengths of organic aerosols in China

Gehui Wang, Kimitaka Kawamura, Tomomi Watanabe, Shuncheng Lee, Kinfai Ho, Junji Cao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Nation-wide studies of organic aerosols were conducted on a molecular level in 15 Chinese cities. The results showed strikingly high levels of organic compounds (e.g., annual concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, sugars and diacids are 110, 370, 400 and 830 ng m-3, respectively), especially in the midwest region during winter (up to 125 μg m-3organic carbon). Fossil fuel combustion and/or biomass burning products are 3-30 times more abundant in winter than in summer. In contrast, significant quantity of phthalates (168-2200 ng m-3) was detected in summer. Concentrations of the pollutants are generally 1-3 orders of magnitude higher than those in developed countries. Their source strengths are characterized in winter by fossil fuel combustion, followed by secondary oxidation, plant wax emissions and biomass burning, whereas in summer by secondary oxidation, followed by fossil fuel combustion and plastic emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL22801
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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