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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-403
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-403
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 24 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 24 Jun 2019

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

Sources and atmospheric dynamics of organic aerosol in New Delhi, India: Insights from receptor modeling

Sahil Bhandari1, Shahzad Gani2, Kanan Patel1, Dongyu S. Wang1, Prashant Soni3, Zainab Arub3, Gazala Habib3, Joshua S. Apte2, and Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz1 Sahil Bhandari et al.
  • 1McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA
  • 2Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA
  • 3Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India

Abstract. Delhi, India, is the second most populated city in the world and routinely experiences some of the highest particulate matter concentrations of any megacity on the planet, posing acute challenges to public health (World Health Organization, 2018). However, the current understanding of the sources and dynamics of PM pollution in Delhi is limited. Measurements at the Delhi Aerosol Supersite (DAS) provide a long-term chemical characterization of ambient submicron aerosol in Delhi, with near-continuous online measurements of aerosol composition. Here we report on source apportionment based on positive matrix factorization (PMF), conducted on 15 months of highly time-resolved speciated submicron non-refractory PM1 (NRPM1) between January 2017 and March 2018. We report on seasonal variability across four seasons of 2017 and interannual variability using data from the two winters and springs of 2017 and 2018. We show that a modified tracer-based organic component analysis provides an opportunity for a real-time source apportionment approach for organics in Delhi. Thermodynamic modeling allows estimation of the importance of ventilation coefficient (VC) and temperature in controlling primary and secondary organic aerosol. We also find that primary aerosol dominates severe air pollution episodes.

Sahil Bhandari et al.
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Short summary
Delhi, India, is the most polluted megacity on the planet, posing acute challenges to public health. We report on source apportionment conducted on 15 months of highly time-resolved mass spectrometer data. We find that severe air pollution episodes are dominated by primary organic aerosol, while secondary organic aerosol dominates the fractional contributions year-round, suggesting the importance of sources as well as their atmospheric processing on pollution levels in Delhi.
Delhi, India, is the most polluted megacity on the planet, posing acute challenges to public...
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