• EP-244-477-485

Size spectra and source apportionment of fine particulates in tropical urban environment during southwest monsoon season

Authors: Yichen Zong, Maria Botero, Liya E. Yu, and Markus Kraft*

Reference: Environmental Pollution 244, 477-485, (2019)

  • Size spectra of airborne fine particulates were measurement at 1 Hz frequency.
  • Significant nucleation events were observed during southwest monsoon season.
  • Source apportionment on particle size spectra data was performed in Singapore.
  • A unique nucleation source was found that correlates with O3-related reactions.

Graphical abstract In this study, we carried out high time-resolution measurements of particle number concentration and size distribution (5-1000 nm) in Singapore, which represents a tropical urban environment. The measurements were taken during the southwest monsoon season in 2017 using a fast-response differential mobility spectrometer at a sampling rate of 1 Hz. In the measurement, short-lived nucleation events were found prominent at early afternoon because of the abundant incoming radiation that enhances the photochemical reactions in atmosphere. For the first time in the region, a five-factor positive matrix factorization approach was applied to the size spectra data. Based on particle number concentration, two sources within nucleation mode (<30 nm) were resolved and account for 43% of total number concentration, which is higher than the available monitoring data in other big cities. Among the sources, O3-related atmospheric photochemical reactions with peak size at 10-12 nm is a unique factor and prominent in early afternoon nucleation events. The findings of this work can serve as a baseline for assessing influence of local and cross-border airborne emissions during various seasons in the future.

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