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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-499
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-499
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 02 Jul 2019

Research article | 02 Jul 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).

Wintertime aerosol dominated by solid fuel burning emissions across Ireland: insight into the spatial and chemical variation of submicron aerosol

Chunshui Lin1,2,3, Darius Ceburnis1, Ru-Jin Huang1,2,3, Wei Xu1, Teresa Spohn1, Damien Martin1, Paul Buckley4, John Wenger4, Stig Hellebust4, Matteo Rinaldi5, Maria Cristina Facchini5, Colin O'Dowd1, and Jurgita Ovadnevaite1 Chunshui Lin et al.
  • 1School of Physics, Ryan Institute's Centre for Climate and & Pollution Studies, and Marine Renewable Energy Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, H91 CF50, Ireland
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology and Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 710061, Xi’an, China
  • 3Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China
  • 4School of Chemistry and Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  • 5Istituto di Scienze dell’Atmosfera e del Clima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 40129, Bologna, Italy

Abstract. To get an insight into the spatial and chemical variation of the submicron aerosol, a nationwide characterization of wintertime PM1 was performed using an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) and Aethalometer at four representative sites across Ireland. Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, was the most polluted area with an average PM1 concentration of 8.6 μg m−3, ranging from < 0.5 μg m−3 to 146.8 μg m−3 in December 2016. The PM1 in Dublin was mainly composed of carbonaceous aerosol (organic aerosol (OA) + black carbon (BC)) which, on average, accounted for 80 % of total PM1 mass during the monitoring period. Birr, a small town in the midlands area of Ireland with a population < 1 % of that in Dublin, had comparable PM1 concentrations with an average of 4.8 μg m−3, ranging from < 0.5 to 63.0 μg m−3 in December 2015. Similarly, the PM1 in Birr was also mainly composed of carbonaceous aerosol, accounting for 77 % of total PM1 mass. OA source apportionment results show that local emissions from residential heating were the dominant contributors (65–74 % of the OA) at the two sites, with solid fuel burning, on average, contributing 48-50 % of the total OA. On the other hand, Carnsore Point and Mace Head, which are both regional background coastal sites, showed lower average PM1 concentrations (2.2 μg m−3 for Carnsore Point in December 2016 and 0.7 μg m−3 for Mace Head in January 2013) due to the distance from emission sources. Both sites were dominated by secondary aerosol comprising oxygenated OA (OOA), nitrate, sulfate, and ammonium. This nationwide source apportionment study highlights the large contribution of residential solid fuel burning to urban air pollution and identifies specific sources that should be targeted to improve air quality. On the other hand, this study also shows that rural and coastal areas are dominated by secondary aerosol from regional transport, which is more difficult to tackle. Detailed characterization of the spatial and chemical variation of submicron aerosol in this relatively less studied Western European region have significant implications for air quality policies and mitigation strategies, as well as for regional-transport aerosol modeling.

Chunshui Lin et al.
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Short summary
To get an insight into the spatial and chemical variation of the submicron aerosol, a nationwide characterization of wintertime PM1 was performed using an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) and Aethalometer at four representative sites across Ireland. This nationwide source apportionment study highlights the large contribution of residential solid fuel burning to urban air pollution and identifies specific sources that should be targeted to improve air quality.
To get an insight into the spatial and chemical variation of the submicron aerosol, a nationwide...
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