This study aimed to investigate aerosol chemical characteristics and to obtain the chemical profile of near-source biomass burning (BB) aerosols at a site (675 m a.s.l.) in Sonla, Northern Vietnam. Particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 μm (PM2.5) was collected over a 24 h sampling period as part of the Seven South East Asian Studies (7-SEAS) campaign. The studies were conducted when BB was highly active — that is, in the spring of 2012 and 2013. The collected particles were analyzed for carbonaceous fractions and water-soluble components, in addition to the mass concentration. Data obtained were further analyzed to determine the stable species profile by classifying the 5-day air-mass backward trajectories. The average PM2.5 mass concentrations were 51 ± 19 μg m–3 and 57 ± 27 μg m–3 in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Carbonaceous contents dominated BB aerosol, with 59% ± 9% and 58% ± 9% in organic carbon (OC) and 9% ± 3% and 10% ± 3% in elemental carbon (EC) of PM2.5 in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Of the 8 carbonaceous fractions analyzed thermo-optically for PM2.5, OC3 (evolution temperature at 280°C–480°C) was most abundant in OC fractions, and EC1-OP (elemental carbon evolved at 580°C minus the pyrolized OC fractions) was predominant in EC fractions in most occasions. Among the measured water-soluble inorganic ions, NH4 + and SO4 2- widely varied, indicating the influence of different trajectory origins. This finding was confirmed by trajectory classification of aerosol data. The trajectories were also distinguished with respect to char-EC to soot-EC ratio, and water-soluble OC. These characteristics were highest in the trajectory from the BB source area.
- Biomass burning
- Carbonaceous contents
- Near-source aerosol chemical profile
- Water-soluble inorganic ions
- Water-soluble organic carbon