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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
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Research article 16 Apr 2018

Research article | 16 Apr 2018

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

Multiday haze in the East Asia: Transport and chemical aging of hygroscopic particles

Yong Bin Lim1, Jihoon Seo1,2, Jin Young Kim1, and Barbara J. Turpin3 Yong Bin Lim et al.
  • 1Department of Environment, Health, and Welfare Research, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, 02792, South Korea
  • 2School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826, South Korea
  • 3Department of Environmental Science and Environmental Engi neering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 27599, USA

Abstract. East Asian countries (Korea and China) have been experiencing exceedingly high concentrations of particulate matter (PM) that threatens health and potentially alters climate. However, the formation of East Asian PM is poorly understood. Furthermore, during the winter high PM concentrations at Seoul, Korea often occurs via the combination of the transport of Chinese haze through the prevailing Westerlies and the local formation at Seoul, and this complicates the PM formation. A severe multiday haze event occurred at Seoul during February 24–28, 2014, and the synoptic meteorological conditions suggest the combination the transport and the local formation (Seo et al., 2017). PM at Seoul and Deokjeok Island during this haze period was sampled and analyzed. Deokjeok Island provides background for Seoul PM since it is upwind and emission free. We hypothesize that transported PM from China (PM at Deokjeok Island) is hygroscopic (thus contains water due to high RH) and undergoes multiphase photochemical aging at Seoul. To validate our hypothesis, we conducted smog chamber experiments. In a humid smog chamber, photochemistry of NOx initiates hygroscopic growth of particles and aerosol liquid water in turn facilitates aqueous chemistry forming organonitrates and oligomers. This multiphase chemistry provides chemical insights of chemical aging during a haze event in East Asia. NOx effects on photochemical aging of particles are substantial. Even a few ppb of NOx form nitrates in aerosol liquid water, and acidify neutral particles. NOx reduction is not likely to be an effective strategy for nitrate- and acidity-related health.

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Yong Bin Lim et al.
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Short summary
Currently high concentration PM formation in East Asia (China and Korea) is poorly understood. Furthermore, the combination of the transport from China and the local formation complicates PM formation in Korea. Based on our field and smog chamber studies, water in particles plays an important role. Transported wet particles take up HNO3 at Seoul characterized by high NOx/RH and photochemistry. Accumulated nitrates take up water and facilitate aqueous chemistry leading to secondary formation.
Currently high concentration PM formation in East Asia (China and Korea) is poorly understood....