Temporal variations of elemental carbon in Beijing

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Abstract

[1] Concentrations of elemental carbon (EC), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured in Beijing between 2005 and 2006. EC was measured every hour with a semicontinuous thermal optical analyzer. The observed concentrations were rather uniform over a distance of about 50 km from the observation site. The annual average concentrations of EC and CO were 6.9 μgC m−3 and 1120 parts per billion by volume, respectively. The concentrations of these species increased with decreasing near-surface wind speed (WS). The slopes of the CO-CO2, EC-CO2, and EC-CO correlations are used to estimate major EC and CO sources. In the weak wind regime (WS ≤ 2.0 m s−1), the median EC, ΔEC/ΔCO2, and ΔEC/ΔCO (except for winter) increased in the late evening and remained high until early morning. The traffic of heavy duty diesel trucks during nighttime was about 20 times higher than that during daytime. These results indicate a dominant contribution of exhaust from diesel vehicles to the nighttime EC. In winter, the nighttime CO and ΔCO/ΔCO2 ratio were largely higher than those in the other seasons. The most likely cause is the increase in the CO emissions from the exhaust of gasoline vehicles at low temperature. The ΔEC/ΔCO2 ratio in winter was lower than that in fall, indicating no significant additional EC emissions. The diurnal variations of EC, CO, CO2, and ΔEC/ΔCO were similar between weekdays and weekends. The slopes of the CO-CO2-EC correlations are compared with the CO-CO2-EC ratios derived from a published emission inventory in the Beijing area.

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