28 Apr 2022
28 Apr 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Sources of organic aerosols in eastern China: A modeling study with high-resolution intermediate-volatility and semi-volatile organic compound emissions

Jingyu An1, Cheng Huang1, Dandan Huang1, Momei Qin2,1, Huan Liu3, Rusha Yan1, Liping Qiao1, Min Zhou1, Yingjie Li1, Shuhui Zhu1, Qian Wang1, and Hongli Wang1 Jingyu An et al.
  • 1State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of the Formation and Prevention of Urban Air Pollution Complex, Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, Shanghai 200233, China
  • 2Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 3State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Abstract. Organic aerosol (OA) makes up a substantial fraction of atmospheric particulate matter that exerts tremendous impacts on air quality, climate, and human health. Yet current chemical transport models fail to reproduce both the concentrations and temporal variations of OA, especially the secondary organic aerosol (SOA), hindering the identification of major contribution sources. One possibility is that precursors that are not yet included in the model exist, and intermediate-volatility and semi-volatile organic compounds (I/SVOCs) are advocated to be one of them. Herein, we established a high-resolution emission inventory of I/SVOCs and by incorporating it into the CMAQ model, concentrations, temporal variations, and spatial distributions of POA and SOA originated from different sources in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region of China were successfully simulated. Compared with the comprehensive observation data obtained in the region, i.e., volatile organic compounds (VOCs), organic carbon (OC), primary organic aerosol (POA) and SOA, significant model improvements in the simulations of different OA components were demonstrated. Furthermore, spatial and seasonal variations of different source contributions to OA production were identified. We found cooking emissions are predominant sources of POA in the densely populated urban area of the region. I/SVOC emissions from industrial sources are dominant contributors to the SOA formation, followed by those from mobile sources. While the former concentrated in eastern, central, and northern YRD, the latter mainly focused on the urban area. Our results indicate that future control measures should be specifically tailored on intraregional scale based on the different source characteristics to achieve the national goal of continuous improvement in air quality. In addition, local source profiles and emission factors of I/SVOCs as well as SOA formation mechanisms in model framework are urgently needed to be updated to further improve the model performance and thus the accuracy of source identifications.

Jingyu An 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-2022-268', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 May 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', C. Huang, 27 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-268', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 May 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', C. Huang, 13 Oct 2022

Jingyu An et al.


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Short summary
This paper aim to build up an approach to establish a high-resolution emission inventory of intermediate-volatility and semi-volatile organic compounds and incorporate it into the CMAQ model. We believe this approach can be widely applied to improve the simulation of secondary organic aerosol and its source contributions.