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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-644
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-644
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 09 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 09 Aug 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).

Large contributions of biogenic and anthropogenic sources to fine organic aerosols in Tianjin, North China

Yanbing Fan1, Cong-Qiang Liu1, Linjie Li2, Lujie Ren1, Hong Ren1, Zhimin Zhang1, Qinkai Li1, Shuang Wang1, Wei Hu1, Junjun Deng1, Libin Wu1, Shujun Zhong1, Yue Zhao1, Chandra Mouli Pavuluri1, Xiaodong Li1, Xiaole Pan2, Yele Sun2, Zifa Wang2, Kimitaka Kawamura3, Zongbo Shi4,1, and Pingqing Fu1 Yanbing Fan et al.
  • 1Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China
  • 2State Key Laboratoryof Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 3Chubu Institute for Advanced Studies, Chubu University, Kasugai 487-8501, Japan
  • 4School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Abstract. In order to better understand the molecular composition and sources of organic aerosols in Tianjin, a coastal megacity in North China, ambient fine aerosol (PM2.5) samples were collected on a day/night basis during November–December 2016 and May–June 2017. Organic molecular compositions in PM2.5, including aliphatic lipids (n-alkanes, fatty acids and fatty alcohols), sugar compounds and photooxidation products from isoprene, monoterpene, β-caryophyllene, naphthalene and toluene, were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Fatty acids, fatty alcohols and saccharides were identified as the most abundant organic compound classes among all the tracers during both seasons. High concentrations of most organics at night in winter may be attributed to intensive residential activities such as house heating and the low boundary layer height. Based on the tracer methods, the contributions of the sum of primary and secondary organic carbon (POC and SOC) to aerosol organic carbon (OC) were 24.8 % (daytime) versus 27.6 % (nighttime) in winter and 38.9 % (daytime) versus 32.5 % (nighttime) in summer. In detail, POC derived from fungal spores, plant debris, and biomass burning accounted for 2.78–31.6 % (12.4 %) of OC in the daytime versus 4.72–45.9 % (16.3 %) at night in winter, and 1.28–9.89 % (5.24 %) versus 2.08–47.2 % (10.6 %) in summer. Biomass burning derived OC was the predominant source of POC in this study, especially at night (16.0 ± 6.88 % in winter and 9.62 ± 8.73 % in summer). Biogenic SOC from isoprene, α/β-pinene and β-caryophyllene exhibited obvious seasonal and diurnal variations, contributing 2.23 ± 1.27 % (2.30 ± 1.35 % in the daytime and 2.18 ± 1.19 % at night) and 8.60 ± 4.02 % (8.98 ± 3.67 % and 8.21 ± 4.39 %) to OC in winter and summer, respectively. Isoprene and α/β-pinene SOC were obviously elevated in summer, especially in the daytime, mainly due to strong photooxidation. Anthropogenic SOC from toluene and naphthalene oxidation contributed higher to OC in summer (21.0 ± 18.5 %) than in winter (9.58 ± 3.68 %). In summer, toluene SOC was the dominant contributor to aerosol OC, and biomass burning OC also accounted for a large portion to OC, especially in the nighttime, which indicate that land/sea breezes also play an important role in aerosol chemistry at the coastal city of Tianjin in North China.

Yanbing Fan et al.
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Short summary
This study provides useful knowledge on the abundance, sources and formation processes organic aerosols in a coastal megacity of Tianjin, North China based on the investigation of the molecular composition, diurnal variation and winter/summer differences under the influence of land/sea breezes and the Asian summer monsoon.
This study provides useful knowledge on the abundance, sources and formation processes organic...
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