28 Jun 2021

28 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Influence of organic aerosol composition determined by offline FIGAERO-CIMS on particle absorptive properties in autumn Beijing

Jing Cai1,2, Cheng Wu3, Jiandong Wang4, Wei Du1,2, Feixue Zheng1, Simo Hakala1,2, Xiaolong Fan1, Biwu Chu1,2,5, Lei Yao2, Zemin Feng1, Yongchun Liu1, Yele Sun6, Jun Zheng7, Chao Yan1,2, Federico Bianchi1,2, Markku Kulmala1,2,8,9, Claudia Mohr3, and Kaspar R. Daellenbach1,2,10 Jing Cai et al.
  • 1Aerosol and Haze Laboratory, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland
  • 3Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 11418, Sweden
  • 4School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 5State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 6State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 7Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 8Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 9Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
  • 10Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland

Abstract. Organic aerosol (OA) is a major component of fine particulate matter (PM) affecting air quality, human health, and the climate. The absorptive and reflective behavior of OA components contributes to determining particle optical properties and thus their effects on the radiative budget of the troposphere. There is limited knowledge on the influence of the molecular composition of OA on particle optical properties in the polluted urban environment. In this study, we characterized the molecular composition of oxygenated OA collected on filter samples in autumn of 2018 in Beijing, China, with a filter inlet for gases and aerosols coupled to a high-resolution time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometer (FIGAERO-CIMS). Three haze episodes occurred during our sampling period with daily maximum concentrations of OA of 50, 30, and 55 µg m−3, respectively. We found that the signal intensities of dicarboxylic acids and sulfur-containing compounds increased during the two more intense haze episodes, while the relative contributions of wood-burning markers and other aromatic compounds were enhanced during the cleaner periods. We further assessed the optical properties of oxygenated OA components by combining the detailed chemical composition measurements with collocated particle light absorption measurements. We show that light-absorption enhancement (Eabs) of black carbon (BC) was mostly related to more oxygenated OA (e.g. dicarboxylic acids), likely formed in aqueous-phase reactions during the intense haze periods with higher relative humidity, and speculate that they might contribute to lensing effects. Aromatics and nitro-aromatics (e.g. nitrocatechol and its derivatives) were mostly related to a high light absorption coefficient (babs) consistent with light-absorbing (brown) carbon (BrC). Our results provide information on oxygenated OA components at the molecular level associated with BrC and BC particle light-absorption and can serve as a basis for further studies on the effects of anthropogenic OA on radiative forcing in the urban environment.

Jing Cai et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-528', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Aug 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jing Cai, 08 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-528', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Jing Cai, 08 Oct 2021

Jing Cai et al.


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Short summary
This study investigates the connection between organic aerosol (OA) molecular composition and particle absorptive properties in autumn Beijing. We find that the molecular properties of OA compounds in different episodes influence particle light absorption properties differently: the light-absorption enhancement of black carbon and the light absorption coefficient of brown carbon were mostly related to more oxygenated OA (low C number and 4O atoms) and aromatics/nitro-aromatics, respectively.