Mass spectra features of biomass burning boiler and coal burning boiler emitted particles by single particle aerosol mass spectrometer

Sci Total Environ. 2017 Nov 15;598:341-352. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.04.132. Epub 2017 Apr 24.


In this study, single particle mass spectra signatures of both coal burning boiler and biomass burning boiler emitted particles were studied. Particle samples were suspended in clean Resuspension Chamber, and analyzed by ELPI and SPAMS simultaneously. The size distribution of BBB (biomass burning boiler sample) and CBB (coal burning boiler sample) are different, as BBB peaks at smaller size, and CBB peaks at larger size. Mass spectra signatures of two samples were studied by analyzing the average mass spectrum of each particle cluster extracted by ART-2a in different size ranges. In conclusion, BBB sample mostly consists of OC and EC containing particles, and a small fraction of K-rich particles in the size range of 0.2-0.5μm. In 0.5-1.0μm, BBB sample consists of EC, OC, K-rich and Al_Silicate containing particles; CBB sample consists of EC, ECOC containing particles, while Al_Silicate (including Al_Ca_Ti_Silicate, Al_Ti_Silicate, Al_Silicate) containing particles got higher fractions as size increase. The similarity of single particle mass spectrum signatures between two samples were studied by analyzing the dot product, results indicated that part of the single particle mass spectra of two samples in the same size range are similar, which bring challenge to the future source apportionment activity by using single particle aerosol mass spectrometer. Results of this study will provide physicochemical information of important sources which contribute to particle pollution, and will support source apportionment activities.

Keywords: Biomass burning boiler; Chemical composition; Coal burning boiler; SPAMS; Single particle; Size distribution.