Two single-particle aerosol mass spectrometers (SPAMSs) were deployed simultaneously at an urban and a rural site in Beijing during an intensive field campaign from 1 to 29 November 2016 to investigate the source and process of airborne particles in Beijing. In the first part of this research, we report the single-particle chemical composition, mixing state, and evolution at both sites. A total of 96% and 98% of collected particles were carbonaceous at the urban and rural sites, respectively. Five particle categories, including elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), internal-mixed EC and OC (ECOC), potassium-rich (K-rich), and metals, were observed at both sites. The categories were partitioned into particle types depending on different atmospheric processing stages. A total of 17 particle types were shared at both sites. In the urban area, nitrate-containing particle types, such as EC-Nit (Nit: nitrate) and ECOC-Nit, were enriched especially at night, sulfate-containing particles were transported when wind speed was high, and ECOC-Nit-Sul (Sul: sulfate) were mostly aged locally. In sum, these processed particles added up to 85.3% in the urban areas. In the rural area, regional particles were abundant, but freshly emitted ECOC and OC had distinct patterns that were pronounced at cooking and heating times. Biomass burning, traffic, and coal burning were major sources of particulate matter (PM2:5) in both rural and urban areas. Moreover, particles from the steel industry located in the south were also identified. In summary, the chemical composition of urban and rural particle types was similar in Beijing; the urban particles were influenced significantly by rural processing and transport. The work is useful to understand the evolution of urban and rural particles in Beijing during winter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science