The Characerization and Sources of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in PM10 in Rural, China

Bixiong Ye*, Thomas Krafft, Linsheng Yang, Yonghua Li, Hairong Li, Wuyi Wang, Eva Pilot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) samples in particles were collected with a PM10 sampler in rural areas of Beijing. PAH samples collected on quartz fiber filters were first extracted using dichloromethane with ultrasonic methods, and then were fractionated on an alumina-silica column. Finally, the aromatic and n-alkane fractions were analyzed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry and gas chromatography- combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry. The level of PAHs showed distinctly seasonal changes throughout the year, with the highest concentrations in January and lowest concentration in July. Σ16PAH concentrations ranged from 153.23 to 867.41 ng·m-3 in January, from 21.53 to 527.42 ng·m-3 in April, from 1.84 to 32.02 ng·m-3 in July, and from 14.86 to 114.81 ng·m-3 in November. Potential PAH emission sources were identified using normal alkane distribution analysis, positive matrix factorization, and compound-specific stable carbon isotope analysis. The results revealed that vehicular emission was the major contributor, and it explained about 48.41% PAH source contribution. The petroleum source explaining 38.63% of the total PAHs was another major PAH source contributor. Coal combustion also was a major PAH contributor, totalling 30.45% of the contribution of PAHs in winter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-915
Number of pages7
JournalPolish Journal of Environmental Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • PAHs
  • seasonal variations
  • emission sources
  • n-alkane distribution analysis
  • PMF model


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