Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acpd-12-31871-2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/acpd-12-31871-2012
11 Dec 2012
 | 11 Dec 2012
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal ACP but the revision was not accepted.

Wintertime peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) in the megacity Beijing: the role of photochemical and meteorological processes

H. Zhang, X. Xu, W. Lin, and Y. Wang

Abstract. Peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) is one of the key photochemical pollutants and acts as an important reservoir for the peroxyacetyl (PA) radical and nitrogen oxides (NOx) over cold and less polluted regions. Previous measurements of PAN in Asian megacities were scarce and mainly conducted for relatively short periods in summer. In this study, we present and analyze the measurements of PAN, O3, NOx, CO, and some meteorological variables, made at an urban site (CMA) in Beijing from 25 January to 22 March 2010. During the observations, the hourly concentration of PAN varied from 0.23 to 3.51 ppb, with an average of 0.70 ppb. Both PAN and O3 showed small but significant diurnal cycle, with PAN peaking around 17:00 LT, three hours later than O3. The observed concentration of PAN is well correlated with that of NOx but not O3. These phenomena indicate that the variations of the winter concentrations of PAN and O3 in urban Beijing are decoupled with each other. Wind conditions and transport of air masses exert very significant impacts on O3, PAN, and other species. The strong WNW-N winds caused elevated concentrations of surface O3 and lower concentrations of PAN, NOx, and CO. Weak winds from the other directions led to enhanced levels of PAN, NOx, and CO and decreased level of O3. Air masses arriving at our site originated either from the boundary layer over the highly polluted N-S-W sector or from the free troposphere over the W-N sector. The descending free-tropospheric air was rich in O3, with an average PAN/O3 ratio smaller than 0.031, while the boundary layer air over the polluted sector contained higher levels of PAN and primary pollutants, with an average PAN/O3 ratio of 0.11. These facts related with meteorological conditions, specifically the air transport conditions, can well explain the observed PAN-O3 decoupling. The impact of meso-scale transport is demonstrated using a case during 21–22 February 2010. In addition to transport, photochemical production is important to PAN in the winter boundary layer over Beijing. The PA concentration is estimated from the measurements of PAN and related variables. The estimated PA concentration for three days with stable atmospheric condition, 7 February, 23 February, and 11 March, are in the range of 0–0.012, 0–0.036, and 0–0.040 ppt, respectively. We found that both the formation reaction and thermal decomposition contributed significantly to PAN's variation. The results here suggest that even in the colder period, both photochemical production and thermal decomposition of PAN in the polluted boundary layer over Beijing are not negligible, with the production exceeding the decomposition.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
H. Zhang, X. Xu, W. Lin, and Y. Wang
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
H. Zhang, X. Xu, W. Lin, and Y. Wang
H. Zhang, X. Xu, W. Lin, and Y. Wang

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