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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.

  25 Aug 2020

25 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement report: Effects of photochemical aging on the formation and evolution of summertime secondary aerosol in Beijing

Tianzeng Chen1, Jun Liu1,3, Qingxin Ma1,2,3, Biwu Chu1,2,3, Peng Zhang1, Jinzhu Ma1,2,3, Yongchun Liu4, Cheng Zhong1,3, Pengfei Liu1, Yafei Wang5, Yujing Mu1,2,3, and Hong He1,2,3 Tianzeng Chen et al.
  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 2Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 4Beijing Advanced Innovation center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
  • 5Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing 102617, China

Abstract. Atmospheric submicron aerosols have a great effect on air quality and human health, while their formation and evolution processes are still not fully understood. Herein, the crucial role of atmospheric oxidation capacity, as characterized by OH exposure dose in the formation and evolution of secondary submicron aerosols, was systematically investigated based on a highly time-resolved chemical characterization of PM1 in a southern suburb of Beijing in summertime from 25th July to 21st August 2019. The averaged concentration of PM1 was 19.3 ± 11.3 μg m−3, and nearly half (48.3 %) of the mass was organic aerosols (OA) during the observation period. The equivalent photochemical age (ta) estimated from the ratios of toluene to benzene was applied to characterize the OH exposure dose of the air mass. The relationships of NR–PM1 species, OA factors (i.e., one hydrocarbon-like (HOA) and three oxygenated (LO-OOA, SV-OOA and MO-OOA) organic aerosol factors) and elemental compositions (e.g., H / C, O / C, N / C, S / C, OM / OC, and OSc) to ta were analyzed in detail. It was found that higher PM1 concentration accompanied longer ta, with an average increase rate of 0.8 μg m−3 per hour. Meanwhile, the formation of SO42− and MO-OOA were most sensitive to the increase in ta, and their contributions to PM1 were enhanced from 19 % to 27 % and from 27 % to 48 %, respectively, as ta increased from 9.4 h to 19.6 h. In addition, OSc and the ratios of O / C and OM / OC increased with the increase in ta. These results indicated that photochemical aging is a key factor leading to the evolution of OA and the increase of PM1 in summertime.

Tianzeng Chen et al.

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Tianzeng Chen et al.

Tianzeng Chen et al.


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Short summary
Effects of photochemical aging on the formation and evolution of summertime secondary aerosol was systematically investigated in suburb of Beijing. Higher PM1 concentration accompanied longer photochemical age (ta). Sulfate and more-oxidized OOA formation were significantly sensitive to the increase of ta, and their contribution were greatly enhanced at elevated ta levels. Our results suggested that photochemical aging process played a crucial role in the PM1 and O3 pollution in summertime.
Effects of photochemical aging on the formation and evolution of summertime secondary aerosol...