Articles | Volume 15, issue 5
Research article
10 Mar 2015
Research article |  | 10 Mar 2015

A critical evaluation of proxy methods used to estimate the acidity of atmospheric particles

C. J. Hennigan, J. Izumi, A. P. Sullivan, R. J. Weber, and A. Nenes

Related authors

Urban aerosol chemistry at a land–water transition site during summer – Part 2: Aerosol pH and liquid water content
Michael A. Battaglia Jr., Nicholas Balasus, Katherine Ball, Vanessa Caicedo, Ruben Delgado, Annmarie G. Carlton, and Christopher J. Hennigan
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 18271–18281,,, 2021
Short summary
Urban aerosol chemistry at a land–water transition site during summer – Part 1: Impact of agricultural and industrial ammonia emissions
Nicholas Balasus, Michael A. Battaglia Jr., Katherine Ball, Vanessa Caicedo, Ruben Delgado, Annmarie G. Carlton, and Christopher J. Hennigan
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13051–13065,,, 2021
Short summary
The acidity of atmospheric particles and clouds
Havala O. T. Pye, Athanasios Nenes, Becky Alexander, Andrew P. Ault, Mary C. Barth, Simon L. Clegg, Jeffrey L. Collett Jr., Kathleen M. Fahey, Christopher J. Hennigan, Hartmut Herrmann, Maria Kanakidou, James T. Kelly, I-Ting Ku, V. Faye McNeill, Nicole Riemer, Thomas Schaefer, Guoliang Shi, Andreas Tilgner, John T. Walker, Tao Wang, Rodney Weber, Jia Xing, Rahul A. Zaveri, and Andreas Zuend
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 4809–4888,,, 2020
Short summary
Effects of water-soluble organic carbon on aerosol pH
Michael A. Battaglia Jr., Rodney J. Weber, Athanasios Nenes, and Christopher J. Hennigan
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 14607–14620,,, 2019
Short summary
The effects of isoprene and NOx on secondary organic aerosols formed through reversible and irreversible uptake to aerosol water
Marwa M. H. El-Sayed, Diana L. Ortiz-Montalvo, and Christopher J. Hennigan
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 1171–1184,,, 2018
Short summary

Related subject area

Subject: Aerosols | Research Activity: Field Measurements | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Chemistry (chemical composition and reactions)
Seasonal variation of aerosol iron solubility in coarse and fine particles at an inland city in northwestern China
Huanhuan Zhang, Rui Li, Chengpeng Huang, Xiaofei Li, Shuwei Dong, Fu Wang, Tingting Li, Yizhu Chen, Guohua Zhang, Yan Ren, Qingcai Chen, Ru-jin Huang, Siyu Chen, Tao Xue, Xinming Wang, and Mingjin Tang
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 3543–3559,,, 2023
Short summary
Unambiguous identification of N-containing oxygenated organic molecules using a chemical-ionization Orbitrap (CI-Orbitrap) in an eastern Chinese megacity
Yiqun Lu, Yingge Ma, Dan Dan Huang, Shengrong Lou, Sheng'ao Jing, Yaqin Gao, Hongli Wang, Yanjun Zhang, Hui Chen, Yunhua Chang, Naiqiang Yan, Jianmin Chen, Christian George, Matthieu Riva, and Cheng Huang
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 3233–3245,,, 2023
Short summary
Estimating hub-height wind speed based on a machine learning algorithm: implications for wind energy assessment
Boming Liu, Xin Ma, Jianping Guo, Hui Li, Shikuan Jin, Yingying Ma, and Wei Gong
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 3181–3193,,, 2023
Short summary
Characteristics and degradation of organic aerosols from cooking sources based on hourly observations of organic molecular markers in urban environments
Rui Li, Kun Zhang, Qing Li, Liumei Yang, Shunyao Wang, Zhiqiang Liu, Xiaojuan Zhang, Hui Chen, Yanan Yi, Jialiang Feng, Qiongqiong Wang, Ling Huang, Wu Wang, Yangjun Wang, Jian Zhen Yu, and Li Li
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 3065–3081,,, 2023
Short summary
Characteristics of particulate-bound n-alkanes indicating sources of PM2.5 in Beijing, China
Jiyuan Yang, Guoyang Lei, Chang Liu, Yutong Wu, Kai Hu, Jinfeng Zhu, Junsong Bao, Weili Lin, and Jun Jin
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 3015–3029,,, 2023
Short summary

Cited articles

Ahrens, L., Harner, T., Shoeib, M., Lane, D. A., and Murphy, J. G.: Improved Characterization of Gas-Particle Partitioning for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Atmosphere Using Annular Diffusion Denuder Samplers, Environ. Sci. Technol., 46, 7199–7206,, 2012.
Ansari, A. S. and Pandis, S. N.: An analysis of four models predicting the partitioning of semivolatile inorganic aerosol components, Aerosol. Sci. Tech., 31, 129–153,, 1999.
Behera, S., Cheng, J., and Balasubramanian, R.: In situ acidity and pH of size-fractionated aerosols during a recent smoke-haze episode in Southeast Asia, Environ. Geochem. Hlth., 1–17,, 2014.
Brown, S. S., Thornton, J. A., Keene, W. C., Pszenny, A. A. P., Sive, B. C., Dube, W. P., Wagner, N. L., Young, C. J., Riedel, T. P., Roberts, J. M., VandenBoer, T. C., Bahreini, R., Ozturk, F., Middlebrook, A. M., Kim, S., Hubler, G., and Wolfe, D. E.: Nitrogen, Aerosol Composition, and Halogens on a Tall Tower (NACHTT): Overview of a wintertime air chemistry field study in the front range urban corridor of Colorado, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 118, 8067–8085,, 2013.
Budisulistiorini, S. H., Canagaratna, M. R., Croteau, P. L., Marth, W. J., Baumann, K., Edgerton, E. S., Shaw, S. L., Knipping, E. M., Worsnop, D. R., Jayne, J. T., Gold, A., and Surratt, J. D.: Real-Time Continuous Characterization of Secondary Organic Aerosol Derived from Isoprene Epoxydiols in Downtown Atlanta, Georgia, Using the Aerodyne Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor, Environ. Sci. Technol., 47, 5686–5694,, 2013.
Short summary
We show that the ion balance and molar ratio methods are unsuitable for use as aerosol pH proxies. Our recommendation is that 1) thermodynamic equilibrium models constrained by both gas and aerosol inputs run in the forward (open) mode, and 2) the phase partitioning of ammonia provides the best predictions of aerosol pH. Given the significance of acidity for numerous chemical processes in the atmosphere, the implications of this study are important and far reaching.
Final-revised paper