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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  09 Oct 2020

09 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement report: Chemical characteristics of PM2.5 during typical biomass burning season at an agricultural site of the North China Plain

Linlin Liang1, Guenter Engling2,a, Chang Liu1, Wanyun Xu1, Xuyan Liu3, Yuan Cheng4, Zhenyu Du5, Gen Zhang1, Junying Sun1, and Xiaoye Zhang1 Linlin Liang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather & Key Laboratory for Atmospheric Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • 2Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA
  • 3National Satellite Meteorological Center, Beijing 100081, China
  • 4School of Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
  • 5National Research Center for Environmental Analysis and Measurement, Beijing 100029 China
  • anow at: California Air Resources Board, El Monte, CA 91731, USA

Abstract. Biomass burning (BB) activities are ubiquitous in China, especially in North China, where there is an enormous rural population and winter heating custom. BB tracers (i.e., levoglucosan (LG), mannosan (MN) and potassium (K+)), as well as other chemical components were quantified at a rural site (Gucheng, GC) in North China from 15 October to 30 November, during a transition heating season, when the field burning of agricultural residues was becoming intense. The measured daily average concentrations of LG, MN and K+ in PM2.5 during this study were 0.79 ± 0.75 μg m−3, 0.03 ± 0.03 μg m−3 and 1.52 ± 0.62 μg m−3, respectively. Carbonaceous components and BB tracers showed higher levels at nighttime than daytime, while secondary inorganic ions were enhanced during daytime. An episode with high levels of BB tracers was encountered at the end of October, 2016, with high LG at 4.37 µg m−3. Based on the comparison of chemical components during different BB pollution periods, it appeared that biomass combustion can obviously elevate carbonaceous components levels, whereas no essentially effect on secondary inorganic aerosols in the ambient air. Moreover, the LG/MN ratios during different BB pollution periods remained at high values (in the range of 18.3–24.9), however, the LG / K+ ratio was significantly elevated during the intensive BB pollution period (1.67) when air temperatures decreasing, substantially higher than in other BB periods (averaged at 0.47).

Linlin Liang et al.

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Linlin Liang et al.

Linlin Liang et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A unique episode with extreme biomass burning (BB) impact, with daily concentration of levoglucosan as high as 4.37 µg m−3, was captured at an upwind area of Beijing. How this extreme BB pollution event generated and how about the chemical properties of PM2.5 under this kind severe BB pollution level in the real atmospheric environment, were both presented in this measurement report. Moreover, the variation of the ratios of BB tracers during different BB pollution periods was also exhibited.
A unique episode with extreme biomass burning (BB) impact, with daily concentration of...