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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-910
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-910
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 21 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 21 Oct 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).

Summertime and wintertime atmospheric processes of secondary aerosol in Beijing

Jing Duan1,2,3, Ru-Jin Huang1,2, Yongjie Li4, Qi Chen5, Yan Zheng5, Yang Chen6, Chunshui Lin1,2, Haiyan Ni1,2, Meng Wang1,2, Jurgita Ovadnevaite7, Darius Ceburnis7, Chunying Chen8, Douglas R. Worsnop9, Thorsten Hoffmann10, Colin O'Dowd7, and Junji Cao1,2 Jing Duan et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology (SKLLQG) and Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics (KLACP), Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 2CAS Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau 999078, China
  • 5State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 6Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing 400714, China
  • 7School of Physics and Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, H91CF50, Ireland
  • 8CAS Key Laboratory for Biological Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100191, China
  • 9Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA
  • 10Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Duesbergweg 10−14, Mainz 55128, Germany

Abstract. Secondary aerosol constitutes a large fraction of fine particles in urban air of China. However, its formation mechanisms and atmospheric processes remain largely uncertain despite considerable studies in recent years. To elucidate the seasonal variations of fine particles composition and secondary aerosol formation, an Aerodyne quadrupole aerosol chemical speciation monitor (Q-ACSM) combined with other online instruments were used to characterize the submicron particulate matter (diameter < 1 μm, PM1) in Beijing during summer and winter 2015. Our results suggest that the photochemical oxidation was the major pathway for sulfate formation during summer, whereas aqueous-phase reaction became an important process for sulfate formation during winter. High concentration of nitrate (17 % of the PM1 mass) was found during winter explained by enhanced gas-to-particle partitioning at low temperature, while high nitrate concentration (19 %) was also observed under the conditions of high relative humidity (RH) during summer likely due to the hydrophilic property of NH4NO3 and hydrolysis of N2O5. As for organic aerosol (OA) sources, secondary OA (SOA) dominated the OA mass (74 %) during summer while the SOA contribution decreased to 39 % during winter due to enhanced primary emissions in the heating season. In terms of the SOA formation, photochemical oxidation perhaps played an important role for summertime oxygenated OA (OOA) formation and wintertime less oxidized OOA (LO-OOA) formation. The wintertime more oxidized OOA (MO-OOA) showed a good correlation with aerosol liquid water content (ALWC), indicating more important contribution of aqueous-phase processing than photochemical production to MO-OOA. Meanwhile, the dependence of LO-OOA and the mass ratio of LO-OOA to MO-OOA on atmospheric oxidative tracer (i.e., Ox) both degraded when RH were greater than 60 %, suggesting that RH or aerosol liquid water may also affect the LO-OOA formation.

Jing Duan et al.
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Short summary
We characterized secondary aerosol formation in Beijing. Our results showed that relative humidity (RH) and Ox have opposite effects on the sulfate and nitrate formation in summer and winter. The wintertime more oxidized OOA (MO-OOA) showed a good correlation with aerosol liquid water content (ALWC). Meanwhile, the dependence of less oxidized OOA (LO-OOA) and the mass ratio of LO-OOA to MO-OOA on Ox both degraded when RH > 60 %, suggesting that RH or ALWC may also affect the LO-OOA formation.
We characterized secondary aerosol formation in Beijing. Our results showed that relative...
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