Articles | Volume 13, issue 6
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 3463–3480, 2013
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 3463–3480, 2013

Research article 27 Mar 2013

Research article | 27 Mar 2013

Investigation of aged Asian dust particles by the combined use of quantitative ED-EPMA and ATR-FTIR imaging

Y.-C. Song1, H.-J. Eom1, H.-J. Jung1, M. A. Malek1, H. K. Kim1, H. Geng2, and C.-U. Ro1 Y.-C. Song et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, Inha University, 253, Yonghyun-dong, Nam-gu, Incheon 402-751, Korea
  • 2Research Center of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, P.R. China

Abstract. In our previous works, it was demonstrated that the combined use of quantitative energy-dispersive electron probe X-ray microanalysis (ED-EPMA), which is also known as low-Z particle EPMA, and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) imaging has great potential for a detailed characterization of individual aerosol particles. In this study, extensively chemically modified (aged) individual Asian dust particles collected during an Asian dust storm event on 11 November 2002 in Korea were characterized by the combined use of low-Z particle EPMA and ATR-FTIR imaging. Overall, 109 individual particles were classified into four particle types based on their morphology, elemental concentrations, and molecular species and/or functional groups of individual particles available from the two analytical techniques: Ca-containing (38%), NaNO3-containing (30%), silicate (22%), and miscellaneous particles (10%). Among the 41 Ca-containing particles, 10, 8, and 14 particles contained nitrate, sulfate, and both, respectively, whereas only two particles contained unreacted CaCO3. Airborne amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) particles were observed in this Asian dust sample for the first time, where their IR peaks for the insufficient symmetric environment of CO32− ions of ACC were clearly differentiated from those of crystalline CaCO3. This paper also reports the first inland field observation of CaCl2 particles probably converted from CaCO3 through the reaction with HCl(g). HCl(g) was likely released from the reaction of sea salt with NOx/HNO3, as all 33 particles of marine origin contained NaNO3 (no genuine sea salt particle was encountered). Some silicate particles with minor amounts of calcium were observed to be mixed with nitrate, sulfate, and water. Among 24 silicate particles, 10 particles are mixed with water, the presence of which could facilitate atmospheric heterogeneous reactions of silicate particles including swelling minerals, such as montmorillonite and vermiculite, and nonswelling ones, such as feldspar and quartz. This paper provides detailed information on the physicochemical characteristics of these aged individual Asia dust particles through the combined use of the two single-particle analytical techniques, and using this analytical methodology it is clearly shown that internal mixing states of the aged particles are highly complicated.

Final-revised paper