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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-503
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-503
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 31 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 31 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).

Significant contribution of organics to aerosol liquid water content in winter in Beijing, China

Xiaoai Jin1, Yuying Wang1,2, Zhanqing Li3, Fang Zhang1, Weiqi Xu4,5, Yele Sun4,5, Xinxin Fan1, Guangyu Chen6, Hao Wu1, Jingye Ren1, Qiuyan Wang2, and Maureen Cribb3 Xiaoai Jin et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 5College of Earth Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 6Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Abstract. The aerosol liquid water content (ALWC), an important component of atmospheric particles, has a significant effect on atmospheric optical properties, visibility and multiphase chemical reactions. In this study, ALWC is determined from aerosol hygroscopic growth factor and particle number size distribution (PNSD) measurements and also simulated by the ISORROPIA II thermodynamic model with measured aerosol chemical composition data at an urban site in Beijing from 8 November to 15 December 2017. Rich measurements made during the experiment concerning virtually all aerosol properties allow us not only to derive the ALWC but also to study the contributions by various species for which little has been done in this region. The simulated ALWC including the contribution of organics and the calculated ALWC are highly correlated (coefficient of determination R2 = 0.92). The ALWC contributed by organics (ALWCOrg) accounts for 30 % ± 22 % of the total ALWC during the sampling period. These results suggest a significant contribution of organics to ALWC, which is rather different from previous studies that showed negligible contributions by organics. Our results also show that ALWC correlates well with the mass concentrations of sulfate, nitrate, and secondary organic aerosols (SOA) (R2 = 0.66, 0.56, and 0.60, respectively). We further noted that accumulation mode particles play a key role in determining ALWC, dominating among all the aerosol modes. ALWC is an exponential function of ambient relative humidity (RH) whose strong diurnal variation influence the diurnal variation of ALWC. However, there is a three-hour lag between the extremes of ALWC and RH values, due to the diurnal variations in PNSD and aerosol chemical composition. Finally, a case study reveals that ALWCOrg plays an important role in the formation of secondary aerosols through multiphase reactions at the initial stage of a heavy haze episode.

Xiaoai Jin et al.
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Short summary
In this study the aerosol liquid water content (ALWC) is determined from aerosol hygroscopic growth factor measurement (ALWCHTDMA) and also simulated by the ISORROPIA-II thermodynamic model (ALWCISO). We found that ALWC contributed by organics (ALWCOrg) accounts for 30 % ± 22 % of the total ALWC in winter Beijing. A case study reveals that ALWCOrg plays an important role in the formation of secondary aerosols through multiphase reactions at the initial stage of a heavy haze episode.
In this study the aerosol liquid water content (ALWC) is determined from aerosol hygroscopic...
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