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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1200
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1200
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 23 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Impacts of water partitioning and polarity of organic compounds on secondary organic aerosol over Eastern China

Jingyi Li1,2, Haowen Zhang2, Qi Ying3, Zhijun Wu4,1, Yanli Zhang5,6, Xinming Wang5,6,7, Xinghua Li8, Yele Sun9, Min Hu4,1, Yuanhang Zhang4,1, and Jianlin Hu1,2 Jingyi Li et al.
  • 1Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 2Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 3Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
  • 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Resources Utilization, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • 6Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 7University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 8School of Space & Environment, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
  • 9State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China

Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is an important component of fine particular matter (PM2.5) in China. Most air quality models use an equilibrium partitioning method along with estimated saturation vapor pressure of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) to predict SOA formation. However, this method ignores partitioning of water vapor to the organic aerosols and the organic phase non-ideality, both of which affect the partitioning of SVOCs. In this study, the Community Multi-scale Air Quality model (CMAQv5.0.1) was used to investigate the above impacts on SOA formation during winter (January) and summer (July) of 2013 over eastern China. The organic aerosol module was updated by incorporating water partitioning into the organic particulate matter (OPM) and considering non-ideality of organic-water mixture. The modified model can generally capture the observed organic carbon (OC), the total organic aerosol (OA) and diurnal variation of PM2.5 at ground sites. SOA concentration shows significant seasonal and spatial variations, with high concentration levels in North China Plain (NCP), Central China and Sichuan basin (SCB) areas during winter (up to 25 μg m−3) and in Yangtze River Delta (YRD) during summer (up to 12 μg m−3). When water partitioning is included in winter, SOA concentrations increase slightly, with the monthly-averaged daily maximum relative difference of 10–20 % at the surface and 10–30 % for the whole column, mostly due to the increase in anthropogenic SOA. The increase in SOA is more significant in summer, by 20–90 % at the surface and 30–70 % for the whole column. The increase of SOA over the land is mostly due to biogenic SOA while the increase of SOA over the coastal regions is related with that of anthropogenic origin. Further analysis of two representative cities, Jinan and Nanjing, shows that changes of SOA are favored under hot and humid conditions. The increases in SOA cause a 12 % elevation in the aerosol optical depth (AOD) and 15 % enhancement in the cooling effects of aerosol radiative forcing (ARF) over YRD in summer. The aerosol liquid water content associated with OPM (ALWorg) at the surface is relatively high over the land in winter and over the ocean in summer, with the monthly-averaged daily maximum of 2–9 and 5–12 μg m−3, respectively. By using the κ-Köhler theory, we calculated the hygroscopicity of OA with modeled ALWorg, finding that the correlation with O : C ratio varies significantly across different cities and seasons. Water partitioning into OPM only promotes SOA formation, while non-ideality of organic-water mixture only leads to decreases in SOA in most regions of eastern China. Water partitioning into OPM should be considered in air quality models in simulating SOA, especially in hot and humid environments.

Jingyi Li et al.

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Latest update: 08 Apr 2020
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Short summary
Large gaps still exist in the modeled and observed Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) mass loading and properties. Here we investigated the impacts of water partitioning into organic aerosols and non-ideality of organic-water mixture on SOA over eastern China using a regional 3D model. SOA is increased more significantly in humid and hot environments. Increases of SOA further cause an enhancement of the cooling effects of aerosols. It is crucial to consider the above processes in modeling SOA.
Large gaps still exist in the modeled and observed Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) mass loading...
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