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Reduction in ammonia has been proposed as a way to lower fine particle mass and improve air quality, but gas-phase ammonia is linked to agricultural productivity. We assess the feasibility of ammonia control at a variety of locations through an aerosol thermodynamic analysis. We show that aerosol response to ammonia control is highly nonlinear and only becomes effective when ambient particle pH drops below approximately 3. Particle pH is a relevant aerosol air quality parameter.
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ACP | Articles | Volume 18, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 12241–12256, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-12241-2018
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 12241–12256, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-12241-2018

Research article 24 Aug 2018

Research article | 24 Aug 2018

Effectiveness of ammonia reduction on control of fine particle nitrate

Hongyu Guo et al.

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Cited articles

An, W. J., Pathak, R. K., Lee, B.-H., and Pandis, S. N.: Aerosol volatility measurement using an improved thermodenuder: Application to secondary organic aerosol, J. Aerosol Sci., 38, 305–314, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaerosci.2006.12.002, 2007. 
Aneja, V. P., Schlesinger, W. H., and Erisman, J. W.: Effects of Agriculture upon the Air Quality and Climate: Research, Policy, and Regulations, Environ. Sci. Technol., 43, 4234–4240, https://doi.org/10.1021/es8024403, 2009. 
Atkinson, R.: Atmospheric chemistry of VOCs and NOx, Atmos. Environ., 34, 2063–2101, https://doi.org/10.1016/s1352-2310(99)00460-4, 2000. 
Bauer, S. E., Tsigaridis, K., and Miller, R.: Significant atmospheric aerosol pollution caused by world food cultivation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 5394–5400, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016gl068354, 2016. 
Behera, S. N., Sharma, M., Aneja, V. P., and Balasubramanian, R.: Ammonia in the atmosphere: a review on emission sources, atmospheric chemistry and deposition on terrestrial bodies, Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. Int., 20, 8092–8131, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-2051-9, 2013. 
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Short summary
Reduction in ammonia has been proposed as a way to lower fine particle mass and improve air quality, but gas-phase ammonia is linked to agricultural productivity. We assess the feasibility of ammonia control at a variety of locations through an aerosol thermodynamic analysis. We show that aerosol response to ammonia control is highly nonlinear and only becomes effective when ambient particle pH drops below approximately 3. Particle pH is a relevant aerosol air quality parameter.
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