Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-838
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-838
 
19 Dec 2022
19 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Secondary Aerosol Formation in Incense Burning Particles by Ozonolysis and Photochemical Oxidation

Zhancong Liang1,2, Liyuan Zhou1,2, Xinyue Li1, Rosemarie Ann Infante Cuevas1,2, Rongzhi Tang2,3, Mei Li3,4, Chunlei Cheng3,4, Yangxi Chu5, and Chak Keung Chan1,2,6 Zhancong Liang et al.
  • 1School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 2City University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, China
  • 3Institute of Mass Spectrometry and Atmospheric Environment, Guangdong Provincial Engineering Research Center for Online Source Apportionment System of Air Pollution, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
  • 4Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Joint Laboratory of Collaborative Innovation for Environmental Quality, Guangzhou 510632, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, 100012, China
  • 6Low-Carbon and Climate Impact Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Abstract. Incense burning is a common religious activity that emits abundant gaseous and particulate pollutants into the atmosphere. During their atmospheric lifetime, these gases and particles are subjected to (photo-)oxidation, leading to the formation of secondary pollutants. We examined the oxidation of incense burning plumes under O3 exposure and dark condition using an oxidation flow reactor connected to a single particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SPAMS). Nitrate formation was observed in incense burning particles, mainly attributable to the ozonolysis of nitrogen-containing organic compounds. With UV on, nitrate formation was significantly enhanced, likely due to HNO3/HNO2/NOx uptake triggered by OH chemistry, which is more effective than ozone oxidation. The extent of nitrate formation is insensitive to O3 and OH exposure, which can be explained by the diffusion limitation on interfacial uptake. The OH-aged particles are more oxygenated and functionalized than O3-aged particles. Oxalate and malonate, two typical secondary organic aerosols (SOA), were found in OH-aged particles. Our work reveals that nitrate, accompanied by SOA, can rapidly form in incense-burning particles upon photochemical oxidation in the atmosphere, which could deepen our understanding of air pollution caused by religious activities.

Zhancong Liang et al.

Status: open (until 11 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Anonymous review of “Secondary Aerosol Formation in Incense Burning Particles by Ozonolysis and Photochemical Oxidation” for Atmos. Chem. Phys.', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Jan 2023 reply

Zhancong Liang et al.

Zhancong Liang et al.

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Short summary
Incense burning is a common religious ritual, especially in Asian and African communities, with massive particles emitted. While previous research mainly focused on the chemical compositions and potential health impacts of fresh incense particles, our work reveals that nitrate, accompanied by SOA, can rapidly form in incense-burning particles upon photochemical oxidation in the atmosphere. This finding could deepen our understanding of air pollution caused by religious activities.
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