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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Jan 2019

Research article | 04 Jan 2019

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

Iodine speciation and size distribution in ambient aerosols at a coastal new particle formation hotspot of China

Huan Yu1,2, Lili Ren2, Xiangpeng Huang2, Mingjie Xie2, Jun He3, and Hang Xiao4 Huan Yu et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
  • 2School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 3Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Ningbo 315100, China
  • 4Ningbo Urban Environment Observation and Research Station, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China

Abstract. Intense new particle formation (NPF) events were observed in the coastal atmosphere during algae growth and farming season at Xiangshan Gulf of east China coast. High nucleation-mode iodine concentrations measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF-MS) confirmed that the NPF events were induced by iodine species. Farmed microalgae, as well as wild algae, could be an important NPF source in coastal areas of China. For the first time, we identified 5 inorganic iodine species, 45 organic iodine compounds (35 molecular formulas) and a group of iodide-organic adducts in ambient aerosols. The concentrations and size distributions of iodine species down to 10 nanometers were measured during the iodine-induced NPF, continental NPF and non-NPF days at the coastal site and compared to those at an inland site. The iodine in the above four types of aerosol samples were characterized by iodate, aromatic iodine compounds, iodoacetic acid/iodopropenoic acid and iodide-organic adducts, respectively. This study sheds light on the iodine sources, formation mechanism and its contribution to the coastal NPF in the context of heavy air pollution in eastern China.

Huan Yu et al.
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Huan Yu et al.
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Short summary
Iodine is an essential trace element for mammals and some aquatic plants. China produces more than 90 % seaweed of the world. Iodine is likely emitted to the atmosphere and transformed to nano particles during the farming, harvesting and processing of seaweed. Growing wild alga population due to serious eutrophication in the coastal waters of China may also promote iodine emission. Farmed and wild algae make the coastal area of China a potential hotspot of new particle formation.
Iodine is an essential trace element for mammals and some aquatic plants. China produces more...