Seasonal variations of anhydrosugars in PM2.5in the Pearl River Delta Region, China

Kin Fai Ho, Guenter Engling, Steven Sai Hang Ho, Rujin Huang, Senchao Lai, Junji Cao, Shuncheng Lee

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62 Citations (Scopus)


F. Ho et al. Anhydrosugars including levoglucosan and mannosan are the most effective organic tracers for biomass burning aerosol in the atmosphere. In this study, to investigate the contribution of biomass burning emissions to the aerosol burden in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, China, 24-hour integrated PM2.5samples were collected simultaneously at four locations, (i) Guangzhou (GZ), (ii) Zhaoqing (ZQ) in Guangdong province, (iii) Hok Tsui (HT) and (iv) Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PU) in Hong Kong, in four seasons between 2006 and 2007. Levoglucosan and mannosan, together with water-soluble inorganic ions and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC), were determined to elucidate the seasonal and spatial variations in biomass burning contributions. The concentrations of levoglucosan and mannosan were on average 82.4±123 and 5.8± 8.6 ng m-3, respectively. The WSOC concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 9.4 μg m-3, with an average of 2.1±1.6 μg m-3. The relative contributions of biomass burning emissions to OC were 33% in QZ, 12% in GZ, 4% at PU and 5% at HT, respectively, estimated by the measured levoglucosan to organic carbon ratio (LG/ OC) relative to literature-derived LG/OC values. The contributions from biomass burning emissions were in general 1.7-2.8 times higher in winter than those in other seasons. Further, it was inferred from diagnostic tracer ratios that a significant fraction of biomass burning emissions was derived from burning of hard wood and likely also from field burning of agricultural residues, such as rice straw, in the PRD region. Our results highlight the contributions from biomass/biofuel burning activities on the regional aerosol budget in South China.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22577
JournalTellus, Series B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Biomass burning
  • Fine aerosol
  • Levoglucosan
  • Pearl river delta
  • WSOC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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