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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1330
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1330
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Jan 2019

Research article | 21 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Secondary organic aerosol enhanced by increasing atmospheric oxidizing capacity in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH), China

Tian Feng1,4, Shuyu Zhao1,2, Naifang Bei3, Jiarui Wu1,2, Suixin Liu1,2, Xia Li1,2, Lang Liu1,2, Yang Qian5, Weijian Zhou1,4, Junji Cao1,2, and Guohui Li1,2 Tian Feng et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
  • 3School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
  • 4Xi'an Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Center, Xi'an, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment & Environmental Standards Institute, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. The implementation of the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in China since 2013 has profoundly altered the ambient pollutants in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (BTH). Here we show observations of substantially increased O3 concentration (about 30 %) and a remarkable increase in the ratio of organic carbon (OC) to elemental carbon (EC) in BTH during the autumn from 2013 to 2015, revealing an enhancement in atmospheric oxidizing capacity (AOC) and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. To explore the impacts of increasing AOC on the SOA formation, a severe air pollution episode from 3 to 8 October 2015 with high O3 and PM2.5 concentrations is simulated using the WRF-Chem model. The model performs reasonably well in simulating the spatial distributions of PM2.5 and O3 concentrations over BTH and the temporal variations of PM2.5, O3, NO2, OC, and EC concentrations in Beijing compared to measurements. Sensitivity studies show that the change in AOC substantially influences the SOA formation in BTH. A sensitivity case characterized by a 31 % O3 decrease (or 36 % OH decrease) reduces the SOA level by about 30 % and the SOA fraction in total organic aerosol by 17 % (from 0.52 to 0.43). Spatially, the SOA decrease caused by reduced AOC is ubiquitous in BTH, but the spatial relationship between SOA concentrations and the AOC is dependent on the SOA precursor distribution. Studies on SOA formation pathways further show that, when the AOC is reduced, the SOA from oxidation, partitioning of semi-volatile POA and co-emitted intermediate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) decreases remarkably, followed by those from anthropogenic and biogenic VOCs. Meanwhile, the SOA decrease in the irreversible uptake of glyoxal and methylglyoxal on aerosol surfaces is negligible.

Tian Feng et al.
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Tian Feng et al.
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