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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular characteristics of urban organic aerosols from Nanjing: a case study of A mega-city in China.

Over 90 organic species have been determined in fine aerosols (PM2.5) collected during the summer and winter in Nanjing, a typical mega-city in China, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The organic compounds detected were apportioned to four emission sources (i.e., plant emission, fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, and soil resuspension) and secondary oxidation products. The most abundant classes of compounds are fatty acids, followed by sugars, dicarboxylic acids excluding oxalic and malonic acids, and n-alkanes, while alcohols, polyols/polyacids and lignin/sterols are less abundant. Total amounts of the seven classes of compounds were on average 938 ng m(-3) in the summer and 1301 ng m(-3) in the winter, respectively, contributing 0.26-1.96% of particle mass (PM2.5). In the summer, n-alkanes were heavily enhanced by vegetation emissions with a maximum carbon number (Cmax) at C29, whereas they were dominated by emissions from fossil fuels combustion with a Cmax at C22/ C23 in the winter. Concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids were lower in the summer than in the winter, being consistent with enhanced photooxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in the summer. Concentrations of dicarboxylic acids for the summer aerosols were much higher in the daytime than in the nighttime, indicating increased photochemical production in the daytime. In the summer, plant emissions were the most significant source of organic aerosols, contributing more than 33% of total compound mass (TCM), followed by fossil fuel combustion or secondary oxidation. In contrast, fossil fuel combustion was the dominant source of winter organic aerosols, contributing more than 51% of TCM, followed by plant emissions and secondary oxidation products. The quantitative results on sugars and lignin pyrolysis products further suggested that biomass burning and soil resuspension are also significant sources of urban organic aerosols.[1]


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