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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-844
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-844
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 Sep 2018

Research article | 07 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Estimating the influence of transport to aerosol size distributions during new particle formation events

Runlong Cai1, Indra Chandra2,3, Dongsen Yang4, Lei Yao5, Yueyun Fu1, Xiaoxiao Li1, Yiqun Lu5, Lun Luo6, Jiming Hao1, Yan Ma4, Lin Wang5, Jun Zheng4, Takafumi Seto2, and Jingkun Jiang1 Runlong Cai et al.
  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • 2Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan
  • 3Engineering Physics, School of Electrical Engineering, Telkom University 40261, Indonesia
  • 4Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 5Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP 3), Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • 6South-East Tibetan plateau Station for integrated observation and research of alpine environment (SETS), Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Abstract. New particle formation (NPF) and the subsequent particle growth occur frequently in various atmospheric environments. Significant influence of transport on aerosol size distributions is commonly observed, especially for non-regional NPF events. With certain assumptions and approximations, a population balance method is proposed to examine the influence of transport on the temporal evolution of aerosol size distributions during NPF events. The method is derived from the aerosol general dynamic equation in the continuous form. Meteorological information (e.g., wind speed, wind direction, water vapor mixing ratio) was used to complement the analysis. The NPF events observed in South-East Tibet, Fukue Island, and urban Beijing were analyzed using the proposed method. Significant contribution of transport to the observed aerosol size distributions is found during the NPF events in both South-East Tibet and Fukue Island. The changes in the contribution of transport is in good correlation with the changes in wind speed and direction. This correlation indicates that local mountain and valley breezes govern the observed new particles at the South-East Tibet site. Most NPF events observed at Fukue Island are closely related to the long-range transport of aerosols and gaseous precursors due to the movement of air masses. Regional NPF events are typically observed in urban Beijing and the contribution of transport to the observed aerosol size distributions is negligible compared to condensational growth and coagulation scavenging. In relatively clean atmospheric environment, the proposed method can be used to characterize the contribution of transport to particles in the size range from ~10nm to ~50nm. However, during intense NPF events in relatively polluted atmosphere, the estimated contribution of transport is sensitive to the uncertainties in condensational growth and coagulation scavenging due to the dominance of their corresponding terms in the population balance equation.

Runlong Cai et al.
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Runlong Cai et al.
Runlong Cai et al.
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Short summary
Significant influences of transport on the measured aerosol size distributions are commonly observed. We propose a method for estimating the contributions of transport to nanoparticles during new particle formation events. This method was used to analyze the new particle formation events in South-East Tibet, Fukue Island, and urban Beijing. The changes in the contributions of transport are in good correlation with the changes in wind speed and direction, indicating the feasibility of the method.
Significant influences of transport on the measured aerosol size distributions are commonly...
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