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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  05 Nov 2020

05 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Sulfuric acid-amine nucleation in urban Beijing

Runlong Cai1,2,3, Chao Yan1,3, Dongsen Yang4, Rujing Yin2, Yiqun Lu5, Chenjuan Deng2, Yueyun Fu2, Jiaxin Ruan4, Xiaoxiao Li2, Jenni Kontkanen3, Qiang Zhang2, Juha Kangasluoma1,3, Yan Ma4, Jiming Hao2, Douglas R. Worsnop6, Federico Bianchi3, Pauli Paasonen3, Veli-Matti Kerminen3, Yongchun Liu1, Lin Wang5, Jun Zheng4, Markku Kulmala1,3, and Jingkun Jiang2 Runlong Cai et al.
  • 1Aerosol and Haze Laboratory, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research / Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00014, Finland
  • 4Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 5Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP 3 ), Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, China
  • 6Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, 01821, USA

Abstract. New particle formation (NPF) is one of the major sources of atmospheric ultrafine particles. Due to the high aerosol and trace gas concentrations, the mechanism and governing factors for NPF in the polluted atmospheric boundary layer may be quite different from those in clean environments, which is however less understood. Herein, based on long-term atmospheric measurements from January 2018 to March 2019 in Beijing, the nucleation mechanism and the influences of H2SO4 concentration, amine concentrations, and aerosol concentration on NPF are quantified. The collision of H2SO4-amine clusters is found to be the dominating mechanism to initialize NPF in urban Beijing. The coagulation scavenging due to the high aerosol concentration is a governing factor as it limits the concentration of H2SO4 amine clusters and new particle formation rates. Besides, the effective amine concentration is another limiting factor in Beijing because amine is sometimes insufficient for nucleation at the kinetic limit. Based on the synergistic effects of these factors on H2SO4-amine nucleation, governing factors for H2SO4-amine nucleation for different conditions are summarized.

Runlong Cai et al.

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Runlong Cai et al.

Runlong Cai et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Based on long-term measurements, we discovered that the collision of H2SO4-amine clusters is the governing mechanism that initializes fast new particle formation in the polluted atmospheric environment of urban Beijing. The mechanism and the governing factors for H2SO4-amine nucleation in the polluted atmosphere are quantitatively investigated in this study.
Based on long-term measurements, we discovered that the collision of H2SO4-amine clusters is the...