Temporal characteristics from continuous measurements of PM2.5 and speciation at the Taipei Aerosol Supersite from 2002 to 2008

Shuen Chin Chang, Charles C.K. Chou, Chang Chuan Chan, Chung Te Lee

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This study uses monitoring data collected at the Taipei Aerosol Supersite from March 2002 to February 2008 to analyze characteristics such as seasonal fluctuations, diurnal variations, and photochemical-related variations of PM2.5 chemical compositions. The results indicate that the average of PM2.5 mass concentration in Taipei during this period is 30.3 ± 16.0 μg m-3. The highest average concentration of PM2.5 components is that of sulfate, which accounts for 21.1% of the PM2.5 mass, followed by organic carbon (OC) at 15.9%, nitrate at 5.8%, and elemental carbon (EC) at 5.4%. Concentrations of EC, OC, and nitrate have distinctive but similar seasonal fluctuations, which is highest in spring and lowest in fall. Sulfate concentration has less seasonal fluctuations, and the highest value appears during the fall. Similarly, concentrations of EC, OC, and nitrate have notable diurnal variations; however, the diurnal variation of sulfate concentration is not very apparent. These observation data show that EC, OC, and nitrate in PM2.5 in the Taipei metropolis come mainly from local emissions, while sulfate comes mainly from the regional transport of pollutants. This is likely because Taiwan is located on the lee zone of the Asian prevailing winds from fall to spring; its air quality is frequently affected by the transport of air pollutants from Mainland China. In addition, the extent of increase in aerosols is much higher than that of CO, indicating the formation of secondary aerosol when photochemical activity is strong. Based on six years of observation data, this study explores three potential scenarios to set up Taiwan's PM2.5 air quality standard (AQS). The analysis indicates that the optimum standard for 24-h air quality of PM2.5 should be around 50 μg m-3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1096
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Long-range transport
  • PM
  • PM standard setup
  • Secondary aerosol
  • Supersite


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