16 Mar 2021

16 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Gas-particle partitioning of polyol tracers in the western Yangtze River Delta, China: Absorptive or Henry's law partitioning?

Chao Qin1, Yafeng Gou2, Yuhang Wang3, Yuhao Mao2, Hong Liao2, Qin'geng Wang4, and Mingjie Xie2 Chao Qin et al.
  • 1Colleges of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
  • 2Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, 219 Ningliu Road, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 3School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China

Abstract. Gas-particle partitioning of water-soluble organic compounds plays a significant role in the formation and source apportionment of organic aerosols, but is poorly characterized. In this work, gas- and particle-phase concentrations of isoprene oxidation products (C5-alkene triols and 2-methylterols), levoglucosan, and sugar polyols were measured simultaneously at a suburban site of the western Yangtze River Delta in east China. All target polyols were primarily distributed into the particle phase (85.9–99.8 %), and their average particle-phase fractions were not strictly dependent on vapor pressures. Moreover, the measurement-based partitioning coefficients (Kp,OM) of isoprene oxidation products and levoglucosan were 102 to 104 times larger than their predicted Kp,OM based on the equilibrium absorptive partitioning model. These are likely attributed to the hygroscopic properties of polyol tracers and high aerosol liquid water (ALW) concentrations (~20 µg m−3) of the study location. Due to the large gaps (up to 107) between measurement-based effective Henry's law coefficients (KH,e) and predicted values in pure water (KH,w), the gas-particle partitioning of polyol tracers could not be depicted using Henry's law alone either. The regressions of log (KH,w/KH,e) versus molality of major water-soluble components in ALW indicated that sulfate ions (salting-in effect) and water-soluble organic carbon can promote the partitioning of polyol tracers into the aqueous phase. These results suggest a partitioning mechanism of enhanced aqueous-phase uptake for polyol tracers, which partly reveals the discrepancy between observation and modeling of secondary organic aerosols.

Chao Qin et al.

Status: open (until 11 May 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-230', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Apr 2021 reply

Chao Qin et al.

Data sets

Replication Data for: Gas-particle partitioning of polyol tracers in the western Yangtze River Delta, China Qin, Chao, Gou, Yafeng, Wang, Yuhang, Mao, Yuhao, Liao, Hong, Wang, Qin'geng, and Xie, Mingjie

Chao Qin et al.


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Short summary
In this study, we have found that the effective partitioning coefficients of polyol tracers increased exponentially with the molality of sulfate ion and water-soluble organic carbon in aerosol liquid water, indicating enhanced aqueous-phase uptake of polyols in the atmosphere. These findings partly reveal the discrepancy between measured and predicted loadings of secondary organic aerosols in previous studies, and will benefit future work on modeling and source apportionment of organic aerosols.