Technical Note: The application of an improved gas and aerosol collector for ambient air pollutants in China
1State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
3Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
4University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Abstract. An improved Gas and Aerosol Collector (GAC) equipped with a newly designed aerosol collector and a set of dull-polished wet annular denuder (WAD) was developed based on a Steam Jet Aerosol Collector (SJAC) sampler. Combined with Ion Chromatography (IC) the new sampler performed well in laboratory tests with high collection efficiencies for SO2 (above 98%) and particulate sulfate (as high as 99.5%). When applied in two major field campaigns (rural and coastal sites) in China, the GAC-IC system provided high-quality data in ambient conditions even under high loadings of pollutants. Its measurements were highly correlated with data by other commercial instruments such as the SO2 analyzer (43c, Thermo-Fisher, USA; R2 as 0.96), the HONO analyzer (LOPAP, Germany; R2 as 0.91 for nighttime samples), a filter sampler (Tianhong, China; R2 as 0.86 for SO42−), and Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS, Aerodyne, USA; R2 above 0.77 for major species) over a wide range of concentrations. Through the application of the GAC-IC system, it was identified that 70% of chloride and nitrate by the filter method could be lost during daytime sampling due to high temperature in the rural site of Kaiping. In Changdao field campaign (coastal site) the comparison with the measurements by the GAC-IC suggested that the collection efficiency of AMS might be greatly influenced by high relative humidity (RH) especially in coastal or marine environment. Through laboratory and field studies, this instrument is proved highly reliable, which is particularly useful in future intensive campaigns or long-term monitoring stations to study various environmental issues such as secondary aerosol and haze formation, as well as climate change.