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Black Carbon (BC) of Urban Topsoil of Steel Industrial City (Anshan), Northeastern China: Concentration, Source Identification and Environmental Implication

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Black Carbon (BC) of Urban Topsoil of Steel Industrial City (Anshan), Northeastern China: Concentration, Source Identification and Environmental Implication

Yutong Zong et al. Sci Total Environ.

Abstract

Black carbon (BC) and total carbon (TC) concentrations in urban topsoils and vertical profiles from steel industrial city, Anshan, Northeastern China, were determined. A total of 115 topsoil samples and 4 soil profiles were collected, in which the BC concentrations were determined using chemical oxidation technique. The BC concentrations in urban topsoils are in the range of 1.86 to 246.46gkg(-1) with an average of 33.86gkg(-1). Both BC and TC concentrations decrease sharply with soil depth, whereas BC/TC ratio shows a little variation with depth. The spatial distribution of BC in urban topsoils reveals that the BC concentration is much higher in the northern part of the city, which is consistent with the steel production. The distribution factors (DF) of BC are the highest in 1000-500 and 500-250μm size fractions, while the lowest in 50-2μm fraction. The mass loading of BC in 250-50 and 50-2μm size fractions accounts for 76.2% of bulk soil, indicating these two size fractions responsible for BC accumulation in soils. Enrichment factor (EF) of BC in urban topsoils ranges from 0.92 to 122.01 with an average of 16.76, indicating that the urban topsoils studied are moderately or severely accumulated by the BC. Strong correlation is found between BC and pollution load index (PLI) of heavy metals, indicating the possibility of similar sources of BC and heavy metals in soils. The BC/TC ratio in soils ranges from 0.45 to 0.97, with an average of 0.75. The BC/TC ratio shows the mixed sources of BC derived from fossil fuel combustion and vehicle emissions. The BC concentration and BC/TC ratio may reflect the degree of industrial activities and pollution sources in urban soils. The study demonstrated that BC is an effective indicator of degree and "hotspots" of heavy metals pollution in urban soils.

Keywords: Black carbon; Enrichment factor; Steel industry; Total carbon; Urban soils.

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