Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 981–992, 2017

Special issue: Regional transport and transformation of air pollution in...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 981–992, 2017

Research article 23 Jan 2017

Research article | 23 Jan 2017

Concentrations and stable carbon isotope compositions of oxalic acid and related SOA in Beijing before, during, and after the 2014 APEC

Jiayuan Wang1,3, Gehui Wang1,2,3,4, Jian Gao5,6, Han Wang5,6, Yanqin Ren1,3, Jianjun Li1, Bianhong Zhou1, Can Wu1,3, Lu Zhang1,3, Shulan Wang5,6, and Fahe Chai5,6 Jiayuan Wang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Key Lab of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 2School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710079, China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 4Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100084, China
  • 6Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Nanjing 210000, China

Abstract. To ensure good air quality for the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, stringent emission controls were implemented in Beijing and its surrounding regions, leading to a significant reduction in PM2.5 loadings. To investigate the impact of the emission controls on aerosol chemistry, high-volume PM2.5 samples were collected in Beijing from 8 October to 24 November 2014 and determined for secondary inorganic aerosols (SIA, i.e., SO42−, NO3, and NH4+), dicarboxylic acids, keto-carboxylic acid, and α-dicarbonyls, as well as stable carbon isotope composition of oxalic acid (C2). Our results showed that SIA, C2, and related secondary organic aerosols in PM2.5 during APEC were 2–4 times lower than those before APEC, which is firstly ascribed to the strict emission control measures and secondly attributed to the relatively colder and drier conditions during the event that are unfavorable for secondary aerosol production.

C2 in the polluted air masses, which mostly occurred before APEC, are abundant and enriched in 13C. On the contrary, C2 in the clean air masses, which mostly occurred during APEC, is much less abundant but still enriched in 13C. In the mixed type of clean and polluted air masses, which mostly occurred after APEC, C2 is lower than that before APEC but higher than that during APEC and enriched in lighter 12C. A comparison on chemical composition of fine particles and δ13C values of C2 in two events that are characterized by high loadings of PM2.5 further showed that after APEC SIA and the total detected organic compounds (TDOC) are much less abundant and fine aerosols are enriched with primary organics and relatively fresh, compared with those before APEC.

Short summary
We compared the differences in concentrations of oxalic acid and related SOA and the stable carbon isotopic compositions of oxalic acid Beijing before, during and after the APEC 2014 conference, to investigate the impact of pollutant emission controls on the origins and formation mechanisms of PM2.5. Our results indicate that the significant reduction in PM2.5 during APEC is firstly due to the emission control and secondly attributed to the relatively colder and drier conditions.
Final-revised paper