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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 03 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).

Impact of anthropogenic emissions on biogenic secondary organic aerosol: Observation in the Pearl River Delta, South China

Yu-Qing Zhang1,*, Duo-Hong Chen2,*, Xiang Ding1, Jun Li1, Tao Zhang2, Jun-Qi Wang1, Qian Cheng1, Hao Jiang1, Wei Song1, Yu-Bo Ou2, Peng-Lin Ye3, Gan Zhang1, and Xin-Ming Wang1,4 Yu-Qing Zhang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Resources Utilization, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China
  • 2State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Regional Air Quality Monitoring, Environmental Monitoring Center of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, 510308, China
  • 3Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts 01821, United States
  • 4Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, 361021, China
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from biogenic precursors is affected by anthropogenic emissions, which is not well understood in polluted areas. In the study, we accomplished a year-round campaign at nine sites in the polluted areas located in Pearl River Delta (PRD) region during 2015. We measured typical biogenic SOA (BSOA) tracers from isoprene, monoterpenes, and β-caryophyllene as well as major gaseous and particulate pollutants and investigated the impact of anthropogenic pollutants on BSOA formation. The concentrations of BSOA tracers were in the range of 45.4 to 109 ng m−3 with the majority composed of products from monoterpenes (SOAM, 47.2 ± 9.29 ng m−3), followed by isoprene (SOAI, 23.1 ± 10.8 ng m−3), and β-caryophyllene (SOAC, 3.85 ± 1.75 ng m−3). We found that atmospheric oxidants, Ox (O3 plus NO2), and sulfate correlated well with high-generation SOAM tracers, but not so for first-generation SOAM products. This suggested that high Ox and sulfate could promote the formation of high-generation SOAM products, which probably led to relatively aged SOAM we observed in the PRD. For the SOAI tracers, not only 2-methylglyceric acid (NO/NO2-channel product), but also the ratio of 2-methylglyceric acid to 2-methyltetrols (HO2-channel products) exhibit NOx dependence, indicating the significant impact of NOx on SOAI formation pathways. The SOAC tracer elevated in winter at all sites and positively correlated with levoglucosan, Ox, and sulfate. Thus, the unexpected increase of SOAC in wintertime might be highly associated with the enhancement of biomass burning, atmospheric oxidation capacity and sulfate components in the PRD. The BSOAs that were estimated by the SOA tracer approach showed the highest concentration in fall and the lowest concentration in spring with an annual average concentration of 1.68 ± 0.40 μg m−3. SOAM dominated the BSOA mass all year round. We also found that BSOA correlated well with sulfate and Ox. This implicated the significant effects of anthropogenic pollutants on BSOA formation and highlighted that we could reduce the BSOA through controlling on the anthropogenic emissions of sulfate and Ox precursors in polluted regions.

Yu-Qing Zhang et al.
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Yu-Qing Zhang et al.
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Short summary
BSOA formation is affected by human activities, which is not well understood in polluted areas. We find that in the polluted PRD region monoterpenes SOA is aged probably resulting from substantial Ox and sulfate. NOx levels significantly affect isoprene SOA formation pathways. Unexpected increase of β-caryophyllene SOA in winter is highly associated with enhanced biomass burning, Ox and sulfate. Our results also indicate that BSOA could be reduced by lowering anthropogenic emissions.
BSOA formation is affected by human activities, which is not well understood in polluted areas....