Characteristics of carbonaceous aerosols in Beijing, China

Fengkui Duan, Kebin He, Yongliang Ma, Yingtao Jia, Fumo Yang, Yu Lei, S. Tanaka, T. Okuta

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159 Citations (Scopus)


Carbonaceous aerosols and PM10 were monitored from September 8 to November 30, 2002, in a semi-urban site (Tsinghua University) in Beijing. Daily concentrations of OC and EC ranged from 7.1 to 65.9 μg C m-3 and from 1.3 to 26.1 μg C m-3, with the overall average concentrations of 21.2 μg C m-3 and 7.3 μg C m-3, respectively. The diurnal variation of carbonaceous concentrations on 2 h basis presented two-peak trend, which was attributed to the cooperative effect of local meteorological conditions and anthropogenic sources such as traffic exhaust and human outdoor activities. Daily average OC/EC ratio varied between 1.5 and 5.3 with an average of 3.0. Strong correlation between OC and EC (R 2 = 0.8) indicated that their main sources were common. The frequency of OC/EC ratio presented Gaussian normal distribution trend in fall, of which the peak value appeared in the range of 2.8-5. In winter, it presented bi-peak mode, with the first peak near 1.4-1.6, and the second between 2.8 and 5. The high value (2.8-5) implied the SOC formation in both seasons, and the low one probably suggested the primary OC/EC ratio from coal burning in winter. Averagely, PM10 and carbonaceous species exhibited higher concentrations in Wednesday than in other weekdays, which could be ascribed to the low wind speed (1.6 m s-1) and high humidity (62.9%). OC was the abundant component accounting for 76% of TC. OC and EC contributed 15% and 5% to PM10, respectively. The estimation on a minimum OC/EC ratio (1.5) basis showed that SOC accounted more than 50% for the total organic carbon. Even in winter, the SOC contribution to OC was also significant, as high as 40%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul


  • Elemental carbon
  • OC/EC ratio
  • Organic carbon
  • PM
  • Secondary organic aerosol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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