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Study Reveals Causes, Methods of Reduction and Transport of Air Pollutants

 Research


Professor Fu Pingqing’s team from Institute of Surface-Earth System Science with their collaborators such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted research about seasonal variations in stable carbon isotopic composition of n-alkanes and fatty acids in urban aerosols from Beijing and published their research results in the journalACS Earth and Space Chemistryas aSupplementary Cover Article.

Advances in analytical chemistry enabling compound-specific isotope measurements have brought about a decade of exploration into the δ13C signatures of n-alkanes and fatty acids formed as important components of plant leaf waxes, soils, sediments and organic aerosols. However, knowledge of their sources and transport processes in heavily polluted urban aerosols in China is still limited.

During Prof. Fu’s research, 13C-depletion in C29 n-alkane was observed during an extreme rainfall event, when the inflow of air masses were originated from lower latitude regions. Higher concentrations of 13C-enriched C23 n-alkane in winter together with the air mass trajectories suggested that the Beijing aerosols were affected by the air masses transported from the southern regions. Higher C24/FA ratios with 13C-enrichment occurred as influenced by southerly air masses and lower C24/FA ratios with 13C-depletion was observed with northerly air masses in fall and winter. The study demonstrated that typical specific markers, such as C23 n-alkane, C29 n-alkane and C24:0 fatty acid, could record the characteristics and isotopic signals of fossil and non-fossil sources in urban aerosols.

Link to the article: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsearthspacechem.9b00113

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The supplementary cover of ACS earth and space chemistry

By the Institute of Surface-Earth System Science

Editors: Eva Yin & Doris Harrington