Characterization and source identification of PM2.5 and its chemical and carbonaceous constituents during Winter Fog Experiment 2015-16 at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi

Sci Total Environ. 2019 Apr 20;662:687-696. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.285. Epub 2019 Jan 22.


Data on mass concentration of PM2.5 and its carbonaceous and water soluble inorganic chemical ions were compiled through sampling of PM2.5 at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi during Dec. 16, 2015-Feb. 15, 2016 under Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX) program of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and analysing the samples. The data so generated were interpreted in terms of their variation on different time scales and apportioning their sources. It is found that mass concentration of PM2.5 averaged over the whole period of observation was 198.6±55.6. The concentration of organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) was 24.7±9.4 and 11.7±4.7μg/m3 respectively with no any trend of increase or decrease over the observational period. SO42-, Cl- and NO3- dominated over other anions with their overall average concentration 34.0±23.1, 32.7±16.1 and 13.3±8.7μg/m3 respectively. Among cations, NH4+ showed highest concentration with an average value of 21.0±10.6μg/m3. Variation of daily average mass concentration of these parameters over the period of observation matched well with the variation of PM2.5 mass concentration indicating thereby to be the major contributors to the PM2.5 mass. NH4+ mostly occurred as NH4Cl and NH4NO3 and poorly as (NH4)2SO4 or NH4HSO4. H+ ion mostly occurred as H2SO4 and occasionally as HNO3. Carbonaceous aerosols and NO3- were mainly generated from fossil-fuel combustion. NH4+ and anthropogenic Cl- were mostly generated by biomass burning. The source of SO42- was found to be industries and thermal power plants. Continental Ca2+ and Mg2+ originated from thermal power plants and soil dust.

Keywords: Chemical and carbonaceous composition; PM(2.5); Source apportionment; WIFEX 2015-16.