Sources and oxidative potential of water-soluble humic-like substances (HULIS WS) in fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in Beijing

Ma, Yiqiu; Cheng, Yubo; Qiu, Xinghua; Cao, Gang; Fang, Yanhua; Wang, Junxia; Zhu, Tong; Yu, Jianzhen; Hu, Di

Water-soluble humic-like substances (HULISinline-formulaWS) are a major redox-active component of ambient fine particulate matter (PMinline-formula2.5); however, information on their sources and associated redox activity is limited. In this study, HULISinline-formulaWS mass concentration, various HULISinline-formulaWS species, and dithiothreitol (DTT) activity of HULISinline-formulaWS were quantified in PMinline-formula2.5 samples collected during a 1-year period in Beijing. Strong correlation was observed between HULISinline-formulaWS and DTT activity; both exhibited higher levels during the heating season than during the nonheating season. Positive matrix factorization analysis of both HULISinline-formulaWS and DTT activity was performed. Four combustion-related sources, namely coal combustion, biomass burning, waste incineration, and vehicle exhausts, and one secondary factor were resolved. In particular, waste incineration was identified as a source of HULISinline-formulaWS for the first time. Biomass burning and secondary aerosol formation were the major contributors (inline-formula> 59 %) to both HULISinline-formulaWS and associated DTT activity throughout the year. During the nonheating season, secondary aerosol formation was the most important source, whereas during the heating season, the predominant contributor was biomass burning. The four combustion-related sources accounted for inline-formula> 70 % of HULISinline-formulaWS and DTT activity, implying that future reduction in PMinline-formula2.5 emissions from combustion activities can substantially reduce the HULISinline-formulaWS burden and their potential health impact in Beijing.

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Ma, Yiqiu / Cheng, Yubo / Qiu, Xinghua / et al: Sources and oxidative potential of water-soluble humic-like substances (HULISWS) in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Beijing. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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