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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-150
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-150
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  21 Feb 2020

21 Feb 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

The promotion effect of nitrous acid on aerosol formation in wintertime Beijing: possible contribution of traffic-related emission

Yongchun Liu1, Yusheng Zhang1, Chaofan Lian2,6, Chao Yan3, Zeming Feng1, Feixue Zheng1, Xiaolong Fan1, Yan Chen2,6, Weigang Wang2,6, Biwu Chu3,4, Yonghong Wang3, Jin Cai3, Wei Du3, Kaspar R. Daellenbach3, Juha Kangasluoma1,3, Federico Bianchi1,3, Joni Kujansuu1,3, Tuukka Petäjä3, Xuefei Wang6, Bo Hu5, Yuesi Wang5, Maofa Ge2, Hong He4, and Markku Kulmala1,3 Yongchun Liu et al.
  • 1Aerosol and Haze Laboratory, Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014, Finland
  • 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 6University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, PR China

Abstract. Secondary aerosol is a major component of PM2.5, yet its formation mechanism in the ambient atmosphere is still an open question. Based on field measurements in downtown Beijing, we show that the photolysis of nitrous acid (HONO) could promote the formation of organic and nitrate aerosol in wintertime Beijing as evidenced by the growth of the mass concentration of organic and nitrate aerosols linearly increasing as a function of consumed HONO from early morning to noon. The increased nitrate also lead to the formation of particulate matter ammonium by enhancing the neutralization of nitric acid by ammonia. We further illustrate that over 50 % of the ambient HONO during pollution events in wintertime Beijing might be related to traffic-related emission including direct emission and formation via the reaction between OH and vehicle-emitted NO. Overall, our results highlight that the traffic-related HONO plays an important role in the oxidative capacity and in turn, contribute to the haze formation in winter Beijing. Mitigation of HONO and NOx emission from the vehicles might be an effective way to reduce secondary aerosol mass formation and severe haze events in wintertime Beijing.

Yongchun Liu et al.

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Yongchun Liu et al.

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Short summary
Understanding of the chemical/physical processes leading to atmospheric aerosol particle formation is crucial to devising effective mitigation strategies to protect the public and reduce uncertainties in climate predictions. We found that the photolysis of nitrous acid could promote the formation of organic and nitrate aerosol and traffic-related emission is the major contributor to ambient nitrous acid in haze days of wintertime in Beijing.
Understanding of the chemical/physical processes leading to atmospheric aerosol particle...
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