Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-284
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-284

  26 Apr 2021

26 Apr 2021

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

Night-time chemistry of biomass burning emissions in urban areas: A dual mobile chamber study

Spiro Jorga1, Kalliopi Florou2, Christos Kaltsonoudis2, John Kodros2, Christina Vasilakopoulou2,3, Manuela Cirtog5, Axel Fouqueau6, Bénédicte Picquet-Varrault5, Athanasios Nenes2,4, and Spyros Pandis1,2,3 Spiro Jorga et al.
  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 15213, USA
  • 2Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, ICE-HT, Patras, 26504, Greece
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, 26504, Greece
  • 4School of Architecture, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Lausanne, 1015, Switzerland
  • 5LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Université de Paris, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), Créteil, France
  • 6Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais (LNE), 75015 Paris, France

Abstract. Residential biomass burning for heating purposes is an important source of air pollutants during winter. Here we test the hypothesis that significant secondary organic aerosol production can take place even during winter nights through oxidation of the emitted organic vapors by the nitrate (NO3) radical produced during the reaction of ozone and nitrogen oxides. We use a mobile dual smog chamber system which allows the study of chemical aging of ambient air against a control reference. Ambient urban air sampled during a wintertime campaign during night-time periods with high concentrations of biomass burning organic aerosol was used as the starting point of the aging experiments. Ozone was added in the perturbed chamber to simulate mixing with background air (and subsequent NO3 radical production and aging), while the second chamber was used as a reference. Following the injection of ozone rapid organic aerosol (OA) formation was observed in all experiments leading to increases of the OA concentration by 20–70 %. The oxygen-to-carbon ratio of the OA increased on average by 50 % and the mass spectra of the produced OA was quite similar to the oxidized OA mass spectra reported during winter in urban areas. Further, good correlation was found for the OA mass spectra between the ambient-derived emissions in this study and the nocturnal aged laboratory-derived biomass burning emissions from previous work. Concentrations of NO3 radicals as high as 25 ppt were measured in the perturbed chamber with an accompanying production of 0.1–3.2 μg m−3 of organic nitrate in the aerosol phase. These results strongly indicate that the OA in biomass burning plumes can chemically evolve rapidly even during wintertime periods with low photochemical activity.

Spiro Jorga et al.

Status: open (until 21 Jun 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Spiro Jorga et al.

Spiro Jorga et al.

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Short summary
We test the hypothesis that significant secondary organic aerosol production can take place even during winter nights through oxidation of the emitted organic vapors by the nitrate radical produced during the reaction of ozone and nitrogen oxides. Our experiments using as a starting point the ambient air of an urban area with high biomass burning activity demonstrate that indeed even with sunlight there is 20–70 % additional organic aerosol formed in a few hours.
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