The driving factors of new particle formation and growth in the polluted boundary layer
- 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
- 2Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
- 3Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) / Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
- 4Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
- 5Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
- 6Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
- 7Institute of Ion Physics and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
- 8Finnish Meteorological Institute, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
- 9Department of Chemistry & CIRES, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
- 10CENTRA and FCUL, University of Lisbon, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
- 11Helsinki Institute of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
- 12University of Leeds, LS2 9JT Leeds, United Kingdom
- 13Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
- 14School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University, 46241 Busan, Republic of Korea
- 15Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
- 16P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russian Federation
- 17CERN, CH-1211, Geneva, Switzerland
- 18Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
- 19Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
- 20Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
- 21IDL-Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
- 22Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, MA 01821-3976, USA
- 23Aerosol and Haze Laboratory, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China
- anow at: Aerosol Physics Laboratory, Physics Unit, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
- bnow at: Department of Chemistry & CIRES, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
Abstract. New-particle formation (NPF) is a significant source of atmospheric particles, affecting climate and air quality. Understanding the mechanisms involved in urban aerosols is important to develop effective mitigation strategies. However, NPF rates reported in the polluted boundary layer span more than four orders of magnitude and the reasons behind this variability subject of intense scientific debate. Multiple atmospheric vapours have been postulated to participate in NPF, including sulfuric acid, ammonia, amines and organics, but their relative roles remain unclear. We investigated NPF in the CLOUD chamber using mixtures of anthropogenic vapours that simulate polluted boundary layer conditions. We demonstrate that NPF in polluted environments are largely driven by the formation of sulfuric acid-base clusters, stabilized by the presence of amines, high ammonia concentrations and lower temperatures. Aromatic oxidation products, despite their extremely low volatility, play a minor role in NPF in the chosen urban environment but can be important for particle growth and hence for the survival of newly formed particles. Our measurements quantitatively account for NPF in highly diverse urban environments and explain its large observed variability. Such quantitative information obtained under controlled laboratory conditions will help the interpretation of future ambient observations of NPF rates in polluted atmospheres.
Mao Xiao et al.
Status: final response (author comments only)
Mao Xiao et al.
Mao Xiao et al.
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