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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1180
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1180
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 20 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Molecular Characterization of Firework-Related Urban Aerosols using FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry

Qiaorong Xie1,8, Sihui Su2, Shuang Chen2, Yisheng Xu3, Dong Cao4, Jing Chen5, Lujie Ren2, Siyao Yue1,6,8, Wanyu Zhao1,8, Yele Sun1, Zifa Wang1, Haijie Tong6, Hang Su6, Yafang Cheng6, Kimitaka Kawamura7, Guibin Jiang4, Cong-Qiang Liu2, and Pingqing Fu2 Qiaorong Xie et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 2Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 5School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China
  • 6Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Multiphase Chemistry Department, Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 7Chubu Institute for Advanced Studies, Chubu University, Kasugai 487-8501, Japan
  • 8College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Abstract. Firework (FW) emission has strong impacts on air quality and public health. However, little is known about the molecular composition of FW-related airborne particulate matter (PM) especially the organic fraction. Here we describe the detailed molecular composition of Beijing PM collected before, during, and after a FW event in New Year's Eve evening in 2012. Subgroups of CHO, CHNO, and CHOS were characterized using ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry. These subgroups comprise substantial fraction of aromatic-like compounds with low O/C ratio and high degrees of unsaturation, some of which plausibly contributed to the formation of brown carbon in Beijing PM. Moreover, we found that the number concentration of sulfur-containing compounds especially the organosulfates was increased dramatically by the FW event, whereas the number concentration of CHO and CHON doubled after the event. The co-variation of CHO, CHON, and CHOS subgroups was suggested to be associated with multiple atmospheric aging processes of aerosols including the multiphase redox chemistry driven by NOx, O3, and OH. These findings highlight that FW emissions can lead to a sharp increase of high molecular weight compounds particularly aromatic-like substances in urban PM, which may affect the light absorption properties and adverse health effects of atmospheric aerosols.

Qiaorong Xie et al.

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Latest update: 25 Feb 2020
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Short summary
Current knowledge on firework-related organic aerosols is very limited. Here the detailed molecular composition of organics in urban aerosols were characterized using ultrahigh resolution FT-ICR mass spectrometry. Our findings highlight that firework emission leads to a sharp increase of CHO, CHNO, and CHOS containing high molecular weight species particularly aromatic-like substances, which affect the physicochemical properties such as the light absorption and health effects of urban aerosols.
Current knowledge on firework-related organic aerosols is very limited. Here the detailed...
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