Environmental science. Processes & impacts

Source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in PM2.5 using positive matrix factorization modeling in Shanghai, China.

PMID 25493422


Providing quantitative information on the sources of PM2.5-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban regions is vital to establish effective abatement strategies for air pollution in a megacity. In this study, based on a year data set from October 2011 to August 2012, the sources of PM2.5-bound 16 USEPA priority PAHs (16 PAHs) in Shanghai, a megacity in China, were apportioned by positive matrix factorization (PMF) modeling. The average concentrations (in ng m(-3)) of 16 PAHs in PM2.5 in the fall, winter, spring and summer were 20.5 ± 18.2, 27.2 ± 24.0, 13.7 ± 7.7 and 6.4 ± 8.1, respectively, with an annual average of 16.9 ± 9.0. The source apportionment by PMF indicated that coal burning (30.5%) and gasoline engine emission (29.0%) were the two major sources of PAHs in the PM2.5 in Shanghai, followed by diesel engine emission (17.5%), air-surface exchange (11.9%) and biomass burning (11.1%). The highest source contributor for PAHs in the fall and winter was gasoline engine emission (36.7%) and coal burning (41.9%), respectively; while in the spring and summer, it was diesel engine emission that contributed the most (52.1% and 43.5%, respectively). It was suggested that there was a higher contribution of PAHs from engine emissions in 2011-2012 compared with those in 2002-2003. The major sources apportioned by PMF complemented well with this of using diagnostic ratios, suggesting a convincing identification of sources for the PM2.5-bound 16 PAHs in a megacity.