Trends of ambient fine particles and major chemical components in the Pearl River Delta region: Observation at a regional background site in fall and winter

Xiaoxin Fu, Xinming Wang, Hai Guo, Kalam Cheung, Xiang Ding, Xiuying Zhao, Quanfu He, Bo Gao, Zhou Zhang, Tengyu Liu, Yanli Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In the fall and winter of 2007 to 2011, 167 24-h quartz filter-based fine particle (PM2.5) samples were collected at a regional background site in the central Pearl River Delta. The PM2.5showed an annual reduction trend with a rate of 8.58μgm-3(p<0.01). The OC component of the PM2.5reduced by 1.10μgm-3yr-1(p<0.01), while the reduction rates of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfate (SO42-) were 10.2μgm-3yr-1(p<0.01) and 1.72μgm-3yr-1(p<0.01), respectively. In contrast, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and nitrate (NO3-) presented growth trends with rates of 6.73μgm-3yr-1(p<0.05) and 0.79μgm-3yr-1(p<0.05), respectively. The PM2.5reduction was mainly related to the decrease of primary OC and SO42-, and the enhanced conversion efficiency of SO2to SO42-was related to an increase in the atmospheric oxidizing capacity and a decrease in aerosol acidity. The discrepancy between the annual trends of NOxand NO3-was attributable to the small proportion of NO3-in the total nitrogen budget. Capsule abstract: Understanding annual variations of PM2.5and its chemical composition is crucial in enabling policymakers to formulate and implement control strategies on particulate pollution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Carbonaceous aerosols
  • Nitrate
  • Pearl River Delta
  • PM 2.5
  • Sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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