This study reveals aerosol liquid water content (ALWC) in PM2.5 ranged from 2% up to 74%, and the associated secondary inorganic fraction rose from 24% to 55%, while ambient relative humidity (RH) increased from 15% to 83% in the atmosphere over Beijing. Unexpectedly, the secondary inorganic fraction in PM2.5 increased with an increase in the ambient RH, which is a meteorological parameter independent of anthropogenic activities, indicating the presence of a feedback mechanism driven by Henry's law and thermodynamic equilibrium. During haze episodes, simultaneously elevated RH levels and anthropogenic secondary inorganic mass concentrations resulted in an abundant ALWC. The condensed water could act as an efficient medium for multiphase reactions, thereby facilitating the transformation of reactive gaseous pollutants into particles and accelerating the formation of heavy haze. ALWC was well correlated with the mass concentrations of both nitrate and sulfate, indicating both nitrate and sulfate salts play key roles in determining ALWC. Coincident with a significant reduction in SO2 emissions throughout China, nitrates will become a dominant anthropogenic inorganic salt driving ALWC. Thus, the abundance of ALWC and its effects on the aerosol chemistry and climate should be reconsidered.
An intensive field campaign was conducted in Chongqing during the summer of 2015 to explore the formation mechanisms of ozone pollution. The sources of ozone, the local production rates, and the controlling factors, as well as key species of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), were quantified by integrating a local ozone budget analysis, calculations of the relative incremental reactivity, and an empirical kinetic model approach. It was found that the potential for rapid local ozone formation exists in Chongqing. During ozone pollution episodes, the ozone production rates were found to be high at the upwind station Nan Quan, the urban station Chao Zhan, and the downwind station Jin-Yun Shan. The average local ozone production rate was 30x10(-9) V/V h(-1) and the daily integration of the produced ozone was greater than 180x10(-9) V/V. High ozone concentrations were associated with urban and downwind air masses. At most sites, the local ozone production was VOC-limited and the key species were aromatics and alkene, which originated mainly from vehicles and solvent usage. In addition, the air masses at the northwestern rural sites were NO (x) -limited and the local ozone production rates were significantly higher during the pollution episodes due to the increased NO (x) concentrations. In summary, the ozone abatement strategies of Chongqing should be focused on the mitigation of VOCs. Nevertheless, a reduction in NO (x) is also beneficial for reducing the regional ozone peak values in Chongqing and the surrounding areas.
Dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) is one of the basic trace gases which plays a key role in nighttime atmosphere. An intercomparison and validation of different N2O5 measurement methods is important for determining the true accuracy of these methods. Cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) and cavity enhanced absorption spectrometer (CEAS) were used to measure N2O5 at the campus of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) from February 21, 2016 to March 4, 2016. The detection limits were 1.6 ppt (1 sigma) at 30 s intervals for the CEAS instrument and 3.9 ppt (1 sigma) at 10 s time resolution for the CRDS instrument respectively. In this study, a comparison of the 1 min observations from the two instruments was presented. The two data sets showed a good agreement within their uncertainties, with an absolute shift of 15.6 ppt, slope of 0.94 and a correlation coefficient R-2 = 0.97. In general, the difference between the CRDS and CEAS instruments for N2O5 measurement can be explained by their combined measurement uncertainties. However, high relative humidity (> 60%) and high PM2.5 concentration (> 200 mu g/m(3)) may contribute to the discrepancies. The excellent agreement between the measurement by the CRDS and CEAS instruments demonstrates the capability of the two instruments for accurately measuring N2O5 with high sensitivity. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Nocturnal reactive nitrogen compounds play an important role in regional air pollution. Here we present the measurements of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) associated with nitryl chloride (ClNO2) and particulate nitrate (pNO3-) in a suburban site of Beijing in the summer of 2016. High levels of N2O5 and ClNO2 were observed in the outflow of the urban Beijing air masses, with 1-min average maxima of 937 pptv and 2900 pptv, respectively. The N2O5 uptake coefficients, γ, and ClNO2 yield, f, were experimentally determined from the observed parameters. The N2O5 uptake coefficient ranged from 0.012 to 0.055, with an average of 0.034 ± 0.018, which is in the upper range of previous field studies reported in North America and Europe but is a moderate value in the North China Plain (NCP), which reflects efficient N2O5 heterogeneous processes in Beijing. The ClNO2 yield exhibited high variability, with a range of 0.50 to unity and an average of 0.73 ± 0.25. The concentration of the nitrate radical (NO3) was calculated assuming that the thermal equilibrium between NO3 and N2O5 was maintained. In NOx-rich air masses, the oxidation of nocturnal biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) was dominated by NO3 rather than O3. The production rate of organic nitrate (ON) via NO3+BVOCs was significant, with an average of 0.10 ± 0.07 ppbv h-1. We highlight the importance of NO3 oxidation of VOCs in the formation of ON and subsequent secondary organic aerosols in summer in Beijing.
We present the in-situ measurements in Chengdu, a major city in south west of China, in September 2016. The concentrations of ozone and its precursor were measured at four sites. Although the campaign was conducted in early autumn, up to 100 ppbv (parts per billion by volume) daily maximum ozone was often observed at all sites. The observed ozone concentrations showed good agreement at all sites, which implied that ozone pollution is a regional issue in Chengdu. To better understand the ozone formation in Chengdu, an observation based model is used in this study to calculate the ROx radical concentrations (ROx = OH + HO2 + RO2) and ozone production rate (P(O3)). The model predicts OH daily maximum is in the range of 4–8 × 106 molecules cm−3 , and HO2 and RO2 are in the range of 3–6 × 108 molecules cm−3 . The modelled radical concentrations show a distinct difference between ozone pollution and attainment period. The relative incremental reactivity (RIR) results demonstrate that anthropogenic VOCs reduction is the most efficient way to mitigate ozone pollution at all sites, of which alkenes dominate >50% of the ozone production. Empirical kinetic modelling approach shows that three out of four sites are under the VOC-limited regime, while Pengzhou is in a transition regime due to the local petrochemical industry. The ozone budget analysis showed that the local ozone production driven by the photochemical process is important to the accumulation of ozone concentrations.
Since 1971, it is known that the atmospheric free radicals play a pivotal role in maintaining the oxidizing power of the troposphere. The existence of the oxidizing power is an important feature of the troposphere to remove primary air pollutants emitted from human-beings as well as those from biosphere. Nevertheless, serious secondary air pollution incidents can take place due to fast oxidation of the primary pollutants. Elucidating the atmospheric free radical chemistry is a demanding task in the field of atmospheric chemistry worldwide which includes two kinds of work: firstly, the setup of reliable radical detection systems; secondly, integrated field studies which enable closure studies on the sources and sinks of targeted radicals like OH and NO3. In this review, we try to review the Chinese efforts to explore the atmospheric free radical chemistry in the such chemical complex environments and the possible link of this fast gas phase oxidation with the fast formation of secondary air pollutions in the city-cluster areas in China.
Particulate nitrate (pNO3-) is an important component of secondary aerosols in urban areas. Therefore, it is critical to explore its formation mechanism to assist with the planning of haze abatement strategies. Here we report vertical measurement of NOx and O3 by in-situ instruments on a movable carriage on a tower during a winter heavy-haze episode (December 18 to 20, 2016) in urban Beijing, China. Based on the box model simulation at different height, we found that pNO3- formation via N2O5 heterogeneous uptake was negligible at ground level due to N2O5 concentration of near zero controlling by high NO emission and NO concentration. In contrast, the contribution from N2O5 uptake was large at high altitudes (e.g., > 150 m), which was supported by the low total oxidant (NO2 + O3) level at high altitudes than that at ground level. Modeling results show the specific case that the nighttime integrated production of pNO3- for the high-altitude air mass above urban Beijing was estimated to be 50 μg m-3 and enhanced the surface-layer pNO3- the next morning by 28 μg m-3 through vertical mixing. Sensitivity tests suggested that the nocturnal NOx loss by NO3-N2O5 chemistry was maximized once the N2O5 uptake coefficient was over 2×10-3 on polluted days with Sa was 3000 μm2 cm-3 in wintertime. The case study provided a chance to highlight that pNO3- formation via N2O5 heterogeneous hydrolysis may be an important source of the particulate nitrate in the urban airshed during wintertime.
The first wintertime in-situ measurements of hydroxyl (OH), hydroperoxy (HO2) and organic peroxy (RO2) radicals (ROx=OH+HO2+RO2) in combination with observations of total reactivity of OH radicals, kOH in Beijing are presented. The field campaign “Beijing winter finE particle STudy – Oxidation, Nucleation and light Extinctions” (BEST-ONE) was conducted at the suburban site Huairou near Beijing from January to March 2016. It aimed to understand oxidative capacity during wintertime and to elucidate the secondary pollutants formation mechanism in the North China Plain (NCP). OH radical concentrations at noontime ranged from 2.4×106cm−3 in severely polluted air (kOH~27s−1) to 3.6×106cm−3 in relatively clean air (kOH~5s−1). These values are nearly two-fold larger than OH concentrations observed in previous winter campaign in Birmingham, Tokyo, and New York City. During this campaign, the total primary production rate of ROx radicals was dominated by the photolysis of nitrous acid accounting for 46% of the identified primary production pathways for ROxradicals. Other important radical sources were alkene ozonolysis (28%) and photolysis of oxygenated organic compounds (24%). A box model was used to simulate the OH, HO2 and RO2 concentrations based on the observations of their long-lived precursors. The model was capable of reproducing the observed diurnal variation of the OH and peroxy radicals during clean days with a factor of 1.5. However, it largely underestimated HO2 and RO2 concentrations by factors up to 5 during pollution episodes. The HO2 and RO2 observed-to-modeled ratios increased with increasing NO concentrations, indicating a deficit in our understanding of the gas-phase chemistry in the high NOxregime. The OH concentrations observed in the presence of large OH reactivities indicate that atmospheric trace gas oxidation by photochemical processes can be highly effective even during wintertime, thereby facilitating the vigorous formation of secondary pollutants.