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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-529
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Jun 2018

Research article | 06 Jun 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).

Fine particles from Independence Day fireworks events: chemical characterization and source apportionment

Jie Zhang1, Sara Lance1, Jeffrey M. Freedman1, Yele Sun2, Brian A. Crandall1, Xiuli Wei1,3, and James J. Schwab1 Jie Zhang et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York, USA
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing , China
  • 3Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, China

Abstract. To study the impact of fireworks (FW) events on air quality, aerosol particles from FW displays were measured using a High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) and collocated instruments during the Independence Day (July 4) holiday 2017 at Albany, NY, USA. Three FW events were identified through the potassium ion (K+) signals in the aerosol mass spectra. The largest FW event signal measured at two different sites was the Independence Day celebration in downtown Albany, with maximum hourly PM2.5 of about 55μgm−3 at the downtown site (approximately 1km from the FW launch location), and 33.3μgm−3 of non-refractory PM1 at the uptown site (approximately 8km downwind). The aerosol concentration peak measured at the uptown site occurred 2 hours later than at the downtown site. The Independence Day FW events resulted in significant increases in both organic and inorganic (K+, sulfate, chloride) chemical components. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) of organics mass spectra identified one FW related organic aerosol factor (FW-OOA) with a highly oxidized state. The intense emission of FW particles from the Independence Day celebration contributed about 79.0% (26.1μgm−3) of total PM1 (33.0μgm−3) measured at the uptown site during Independence Day FW event (07/04 23:00–07/05 02:00). Aerosol measurements and wind LiDAR measurements showed two distinct pollution sources, one from the Independence Day FW event in Albany, and the other transported from the northeast, potentially associated with another city’s FW events. This study highlights the significant influence of FW burning on fine aerosol mass concentration and chemical characteristics, which is useful in quantifying the impacts of FW on air pollution, at a time when more than usual people are clustered together and breathing the outdoor air.

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Short summary
The impact of fireworks (FW) events on air quality was studied using a High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) and collocated instruments during the Independence Day (July 4) holiday. The Independence Day FW events resulted in significant increases in both organic and inorganic (potassium, sulfate, chloride) chemical components, and the contribution from different aerosol sources was discussed.
The impact of fireworks (FW) events on air quality was studied using a High-Resolution...
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