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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1142
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1142
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  26 Feb 2020

26 Feb 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Elucidating the pollution characteristics of nitrate, sulfate and ammonium in PM2.5 in Chengdu, southwest China based on long-term observations

Liuwei Kong1, Miao Feng2, Yafei Liu1, Yingying Zhang1, Chen Zhang1, Chenlu Li1, Yu Qu3, Junling An3, Xingang Liu1, Qinwen Tan2, Nianliang Cheng4, Yijun Deng5, Ruixiao Zhai5, and Zheng Wang5 Liuwei Kong et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Chengdu Academy of Environmental Sciences, Chengdu 610072, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 4Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, Beijing 100048, China
  • 5Yuncheng Municipal Ecological Environment Bureau, Yuncheng, 044000, China

Abstract. Nitrate, sulfate and ammonium (NSA) are the main secondary inorganic aerosols of PM2.5 and play an important role in the process of air pollution. However, few studies have analysed the variation characteristics of NSA in PM2.5 and the effects of control measures through long-term observations. In this study, a long-term observational experiment was conducted from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017 in Chengdu, southwest China. NSA pollution characteristics, chemical conversion generation, emission reduction control sensitivity analysis and pollutant regional transport characteristics were analysed. The concentrations of sulfate and ammonium in PM2.5 have been well reduced, but the effect of reducing nitrate was not obvious. Seasonal and diurnal variations have obvious characteristics, winter still has a high NSA concentration and emission intensity, and the concentration during the day was higher than that at night. Although the workday concentration was slightly higher than the weekend concentration, the difference was nonsignificant. The chemical conversion characteristics of NSA formation were comprehensively analysed, and the aqueous phase oxidation process plays an important role in the conversion of NOx, SO2 and NH3 to NSA. The ammonia-rich environment became increasingly obvious in the atmosphere of Chengdu. Under these conditions, the sensitivity of NSA concentration variation was analyses using the ISORROPIA-II thermodynamic model, and the results show that by reducing NOx and SO2 emissions, not only can reduce the nitrate and sulfate in PM2.5, but also help reduce the formation of ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate to reduce ammonium. The results also show that while carrying out NSA emission reduction, it is also possible to generate potential risks of changes in aerosol pH. Combined with meteorological conditions and a potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis, local emissions and regional emissions of pollutants are found to have important impacts on Chengdu's atmospheric environment. This research result not only provides an assessment of the current atmospheric emission reduction effect but also provides an important reference for determining methods to further reduce the NSA concentration in atmospheric PM2.5.

Liuwei Kong et al.

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Liuwei Kong et al.

Liuwei Kong et al.

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Short summary
This study illustrates the pollution characteristics of secondary inorganic aerosols in PM2.5 in Chengdu, Southwest China through three years of atmospheric observation data. It is also to illustrate the effectiveness of the measures taken to control air pollution. The results show that sulfates are well controlled, but nitrates and ammonium are still facing a severe situation, and also provides a good reference for regional air pollution joint prevention and control measures.
This study illustrates the pollution characteristics of secondary inorganic aerosols in PM2.5 in...
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