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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1018
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1018
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 02 Jan 2020

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

Direct links between hygroscopicity and mixing state of ambient aerosols: Estimating particle hygroscopicity from their single particle mass spectra

Xinning Wang1, Xiaofei Wang1,2, and Xin Yang1,2 Xinning Wang et al.
  • 1Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • 2Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, Shanghai 200092, China

Abstract. Hygroscopicity plays a crucial role in determining aerosol optical properties and aging processes in the atmosphere. We investigated submicron aerosol hygroscopicity and composition by connecting an aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) to the downstream of a hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA), to simultaneously characterize hygroscopicities and chemical compositions of ambient aerosols in Shanghai, China. Major particle types, including biomass burning, EC, Dust/Ash, organics particles, cooking particles and sea salt, were shown to have distinct hygroscopicity distributions. It is also found that particles with stronger hygroscopicities were more likely to have higher effective densities. Based on the measured hygroscopicity-composition relations, we developed a statistical method to estimate ambient particle hygroscopicity just from their mass spectra. This method was applied to another ambient ATOFMS dataset sampled from September 12nd to 28th, 2012 in Shanghai, and it is found that ambient particles were present in three major hygroscopicity modes, whose growth factors at relative humidity 85 % peaked at 1.05, 1.42 and 1.60, respectively. The temporal variations of the estimated particle hygroscopicity were consistent with the back-trajectory analysis and atmospheric visibility observations. These hygroscopicity estimation results with single particle mass spectra analysis can provide critical information on particulate water content, particle source apportionment and aging processes.

Xinning Wang et al.
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Short summary
Hygroscopicity plays several key roles in determining aerosol optical properties and aging processes in the atmosphere. However, it is quite difficult to study aerosol hygroscopicity on the single-particle level. In this study, we built a comprehensive database linking hygroscopicities and mass spectra of individual particles. Based on the measured hygroscopicity-composition relations, we developed a statistical method to estimate ambient particle hygroscopicity just from their mass spectra.
Hygroscopicity plays several key roles in determining aerosol optical properties and aging...
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