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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
27 Sep 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Quantification of atmospheric nucleation and growth process as a single source of aerosol particles in a city
Imre Salma, Veronika Varga, and Zoltán Németh Institute of Chemistry, Eötvös University, H-1518 Budapest, P.O. Box 32, Hungary
Abstract. Effects of new aerosol particle formation (NPF) and particle diameter growth process as a single source on atmospheric particle number concentrations were evaluated and quantified on the basis of experimental data sets obtained from particle number size distribution measurements in the city centre and near-city background of Budapest for 5 years. Nucleation strength factors separately for nucleation days (NSFnucl days) and for all days (NSFall days) were derived for seasons and full years. The former characteristics represents the concentration increment of ultrafine (UF) particle numbers with respect to background concentration due solely to nucleation specifically on nucleation days. The latter factor expresses the contribution of nucleation process to the background particle number concentrations in general, thus on a longer time interval such as season or year. The nucleation source had the largest effect on particle concentrations around noon and early afternoon as expected. During this time interval, it became the major source of particles in the near-city background. Nucleation increased the daily mean particle number concentrations on nucleation days by mean factors of 2.3 and 1.58 in the near-city background and city centre, respectively. Its effect was the largest in winter, which was explained with the substantially lower background concentration levels on nucleation days than that on non-nucleation days. On an annual time scale, 37 % of the UF particles were generated by nucleation in the near-city background, while NPF produced 13 % of UF particles in the city centre. The differences among the annual mean values, and among the corresponding seasonal mean values were likely caused by the variability in controlling factors from year to year. The values obtained represent lower limits of contributions. The shares determined imply that NPF is a non-negligible or substantial source of particles in near-city background environments and even in city centres, where the vehicular road emissions usually prevail. Atmospheric residence time of nucleation-mode particles was assessed by decay curve analysis of N6–25 concentrations in time, and a mean of 2:30 was obtained. The present study suggests that the health-related consequences of atmospheric NPF and growth process in cities should also be considered in addition to its urban climate implications.

Citation: Salma, I., Varga, V., and Németh, Z.: Quantification of atmospheric nucleation and growth process as a single source of aerosol particles in a city, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Imre Salma et al.
Imre Salma et al.
Imre Salma et al.


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