Variation in the mercury concentration and stable isotope composition of atmospheric total suspended particles in Beijing, China

Qiang Huang, John R. Reinfelder, Pingqing Fu, Weilin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We investigated the effect of the temporary ban of local industrial activities during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit (4th–14th Nov 2014) in Beijing, China on total suspended particulate mercury (HgTSP) concentrations and isotope compositions. We measured Hg concentrations and isotope ratios in 33 TSP samples from central Beijing, including 21 samples collected from Jun 2012 to Apr 2014, and 12 samples collected from 14th Oct–19th Nov 2014. Volumetric concentrations of both TSP and HgTSP during the APEC summit were a factor of 2 lower than during the pre-APEC period, indicating substantial reductions in total particulate matter and HgTSP as a result of emissions controls. However, mass-normalized concentrations and mercury isotope ratios of HgTSP did not vary significantly between samples collected before, during, or after the APEC summit. These results show that local emissions are important sources of particle bound mercury (PBM) in Beijing and that their control can be used to immediately lower the volumetric concentration of HgTSP. They also indicate that a similarly complex mixture of sources contributed to PBM in Beijing before and during emissions controls were put in place and that PBM concentrations in Beijing are primarily controlled by emissions and secondarily by photoreduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121131
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume383
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 5 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Keywords

  • APEC summit
  • Atmospheric particulate mercury
  • Mass-independent fractionation
  • Photoreduction

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