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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-135
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-135
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Mar 2019

Research article | 13 Mar 2019

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

Summertime aerosol volatility measurements in Beijing, China

Weiqi Xu1,2, Conghui Xie1,2, Eleni Karnezi3,a, Qi Zhang4, Junfeng Wang5, Spyros N. Pandis3, Xinlei Ge5, Qingqing Wang1, Jian Zhao1,2, Wei Du1,2,b, Yanmei Qiu1,2, Wei Zhou1,2, Yao He1,2, Jingwei Zhang1,2, Junling An1,2, Ying Li1, Jie Li1, Pingqing Fu2,6, Zifa Wang1,2, Douglas R. Worsnop7, and Yele Sun1,2,8 Weiqi Xu et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • 4Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, California 95616, United States
  • 5School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 6Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
  • 7Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts 01821, USA
  • 8Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • anow at: Earth Sciences Department, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, BSC-CNS, Barcelona 08034, Spain
  • bnow at: Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014 Finland

Abstract. Volatility plays a key role in affecting mass concentrations and lifetime of aerosol particles in the atmosphere, yet our knowledge of aerosol volatility in relatively polluted environment, e.g., north China remains poor. Here aerosol volatility in Beijing in summer 2017 and 2018 was measured using a thermodenuder (TD) coupled with an Aerodyne high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and a soot particle AMS. Our results showed overall similar thermograms for most non-refractory aerosol species compared with those reported in previous studies. However, high mass fraction remaining and NO+/NO2+ ratio for chloride and nitrate, respectively above 200 °C indicated the presence of considerable metallic salts and organic nitrates in Beijing. The volatility distributions of organic aerosol (OA) and four OA factors that were resolved from positive matrix factorization were estimated using a mass transfer model. The ambient OA comprised mainly semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC, 63 %) with an average effective saturation concentration (C*) of 0.55 µg m−3, suggesting overall more volatile properties than OA in megacities of Europe and US. Further analysis showed that the freshly oxidized secondary OA (LO-OOA) was the most volatile OA factor (SVOC = 70 %) followed by hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA). In contrast, the volatility of more oxidized SOA (MO-OOA) was comparable to that of cooking OA with SVOC on average accounting for 60.2 %. We also compared the volatility of ambient and black carbon–containing OA. Our results showed that the BC-containing primary OA (POA) was much more volatile than ambient POA (C*= 0.69 µg m−3 vs. 0.37 µg m−3), while the BC-containing SOA was much less volatile, highlighting the very different composition and properties between BC-containing and ambient aerosol particles.

Weiqi Xu et al.
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Short summary
We present aerosol volatility measurements in Beijing in summer using thermodenuder coupled with aerosol mass spectrometers. Our results showed that organic aerosol (OA) comprised mainly semi-volatile organic compounds in summer, and the freshly oxidized secondary OA was the most volatile component. We also found quite different volatility distributions between black carbon – containing primary and secondary OA and those of ambient OA, ambient secondary OA and that from WRF-Chem model.
We present aerosol volatility measurements in Beijing in summer using thermodenuder coupled with...
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