Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1235
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1235

  11 Dec 2020

11 Dec 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Atmospheric gaseous hydrochloric and hydrobromic acid in urban Beijing, China: detection, source identification and potential atmospheric impacts

Xiaolong Fan1,, Jing Cai2,, Chao Yan2, Jian Zhao2, Yishuo Guo1, Chang Li1, Kaspar R. Dällenbach2, Feixue Zheng1, Zhuohui Lin1, Biwu Chu3,4, Yonghong Wang2, Lubna Dada2, Qiaozhi Zha2, Wei Du2, Jenni Kontkanen2, Theo Kurtén5, Siddhart Iyer6, Joni T. Kujansuu1,2, Tuukka Petäjä2, Douglas R. Worsnop7, Veli-Matti Kerminen2, Yongchun Liu1, Federico Bianchi2, Yee Jun Tham2, Lei Yao2, and Markku Kulmala1,2,8 Xiaolong Fan et al.
  • 1Aerosol and Haze Laboratory, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100089, China
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research / Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki 00560, Finland
  • 3State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Research Center for EcoEnvironmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 4Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 5Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • 6Aerosol Physics Laboratory, Physics Unit, Tampere University, Tampere 33100, Finland
  • 7Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts 01821, USA
  • 8Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences (JirLATEST), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China.
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Gaseous hydrochloric (HCl) and hydrobromic acid (HBr) are vital halogen species that play essential roles in tropospheric physicochemical processes. Yet, majority of the current studies on these halogen species were conducted in marine or coastal areas. Detection and source identification of HCl and HBr in inland urban areas remain scarce, thus, limiting the full understanding of halogen chemistry and potential atmospheric impacts in the environments with limited influence from the marine sources. Here, both gaseous HCl and HBr were concurrently measured in urban Beijing, China during winter and early spring of 2019. We observed significant HCl and HBr concentrations ranged from a minimum value at 1.3 × 108 cm−3 and 4.3 × 107 cm−3 up to 5.9 × 109 cm−3 and 1.2 × 109 cm−3, respectively. The HCl and HBr concentrations are enhanced along with the increase of atmospheric temperature, UVB, and levels of gaseous HNO3. Based on the air mass analysis and high correlations of HCl and HBr with the burning indicators (HCN and HCNO), the gaseous HCl and HBr are found to be related to anthropogenic burning aerosols. The gas-aerosol partitioning may also play a dominant role in the elevated daytime HCl and HBr. During the daytime, the reaction of HCl and HBr with OH radicals lead to significant production of atomic Cl and Br, up to 1.7 × 104 cm−3 s−1 and 7.9 × 104 cm−3 s−1, respectively. The production rate of atomic Br (via HBr + OH) are 2–3 times higher than that of atomic Cl (via HCl + OH), highlighting the potential importance of bromine chemistry in the urban area. Furthermore, our observations of elevated HCl and HBr may suggest an important recycling pathway of halogen species in inland megacities, and may provide a plausible explanation for the widespread of halogen chemistry, which could affect the atmospheric oxidation in China.

Xiaolong Fan et al.

 
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Xiaolong Fan et al.

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Short summary
We observed significant concentrations of gaseous HBr and HCl throughout the winter and springtime in urban Beijing. Our results indicate that the gaseous HCl and HBr are most likely originated from anthropogenic emissions such as burning activities, and the gas-aerosol partitioning may play a crucial role in contributing to the gaseous HCl and HBr. These observations suggest that there is an important recycling pathway of halogen species in inland megacities.
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