Differences in the composition of organic aerosols between winter and summer in Beijing: a study by direct-infusion ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometryDownload
This study investigates the chemical composition of PM2.5 collected at a central location in Beijing, China, during winter 2016 and summer 2017. The samples were characterised using direct-infusion negative-nano-electrospray-ionisation ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry to elucidate the composition and the potential primary and secondary sources of the organic fraction. The samples from the two seasons were compared with those from a road-tunnel site and an urban background site in Birmingham, UK, analysed in the course of an earlier study using the same method. There were strong differences in aerosol particle composition between the seasons, particularly regarding (poly-)aromatic compounds, which were strongly enhanced in winter, likely due to increased fossil fuel and biomass burning for heating. In addition to the seasonal differences, compositional differences between high- and low-pollution conditions were observed, with the contribution of sulfur-containing organic compounds strongly enhanced under high-pollution conditions. There was a correlation of the number of sulfur-containing molecular formulae with the concentration of particulate sulfate, consistent with a particle-phase formation process.