Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with PM2.5within boundary layer: Cloud/fog and regional transport

Minmin Yang, Yan Wang, Hongli Li, Tao Li, Xiaoling Nie, Fangfang Cao, Fengchun Yang, Zhe Wang, Tao Wang, Guanghao Qie, Tong Jin, Lili Du, Wenxing Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A study of PM 2.5-associated PAHs analysis at Mount Lushan (1165 m) was conducted to investigate the distributions of PAHs in PM 2.5 and influences of cloud/fog. The main purpose was to quantify the main emission sources of PAHs and estimate regional transport effects within the boundary layer. Mount Lushan is located between the boundary layer and troposphere, which is an ideal site for atmosphere transport investigation. The concentrations of PAHs in PM 2.5 were analyzed with GC–MS. The results showed that the volume concentration was 6.98 ng/m 3 with a range from 1.47 to 25.17 ng/m 3 and PAHs mass were 160.24 μg/g (from 63.86 to 427.97 μg/g) during the sampling time at Mount Lushan. The dominant compounds are BbF, Pyr and BP. In terms of aromatic-ring PAHs distributions, 4–6-ring PAHs are predominant, indicating that the high-ring PAHs tend to contribute more than low-ring PAHs in particulates. Due to frequent cloud/fog days at Mount Lushan, PAHs concentrations in the PM 2.5 were determined before and after cloud/fog weather. The results demonstrated that the cloud/fog and rain conditions cause lower PAHs levels. Regression analysis was used for studying the relationship of PAHs distributions with meteorological conditions like temperature, humidity and wind. The results showed that the temperature and wind speed were inversely related with PAHs concentration but humidity had no significant relationship. Furthermore, backward trajectories and PCA combined with DR (diagnostic ratio analysis) were employed to identify the influences of regional transport and main emission sources. The results revealed that PAHs in PM 2.5 were mainly affected by regional transport with the main emissions by mobile vehicle and steel industry, which contributed about 56.0% to the total PAHs in the area of Mount Lushan. In addition, backward trajectories revealed that the dominant air masses were from the northwest accounting for about one third of total PAHs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-621
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018


  • Cloud/fog
  • Emissions
  • Mount Lushan
  • PAHs
  • PM
  • Regional transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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