Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-839
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-839
 
09 Jan 2023
09 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Sulfate formation via aerosol phase SO2 oxidation by model biomass burning photosensitizers: 3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde, vanillin and syringaldehyde using single particle characterization

Liyuan Zhou1,2, Zhancong Liang1,2, Beatrix Rosette Go Mabato1,2, Rosemarie Ann Infante Cuevas1,2, Rongzhi Tang1,2, Mei Li3,4, Chunlei Cheng3,4, and Chak Keung Chan1,2,5 Liyuan Zhou 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
  • 5Low-Carbon and Climate Impact Research Centre of School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Abstract. Atmospheric oxidation of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to sulfate has been widely investigated by means of gas phase and in-cloud chemistry studies. Recent field measurements have shown significant sulfate formation in cloud-free environments with high aerosol loadings. As an important fraction of biomass burning aerosol components, particulate phenolic and non-phenolic aromatic carbonyls may initiate photosensitized aerosol multiphase oxidation of SO2, of which our knowledge however is still in its nascent stage. In this study, on the basis of single-particle aerosol mass spectrometry (SPAMS) measurements, we find evident sulfate formation in the biomass burning-derived photosensitizer particles under UV and SO2 exposure, attributable to photosensitized oxidation of S(IV), while almost no sulfate was observed under dark and existence of SO2. The efficiency of sulfate production under UV irradiation, represented by the number percentage of sulfate-containing particles (99–43 %) and sulfate relative peak area (RPA) (0.67–0.12) in single particle spectra, in descending order, were 3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde (DMB), vanillin (VL) and syringaldehyde (SyrAld). Internal mixtures of VL and potassium nitrate gave a slightly lower number percentage and RPA of sulfate to VL particles alone. In externally mixed potassium nitrate and VL particles, sulfate was predominantly formed on the latter, confirming that sulfate formation via photosensitization prevails over that via nitrate photolysis. Our results suggest that photosensitized oxidation of S(IV) could make an important contribution to aerosol sulfate formation, especially in areas influenced by biomass burning.

Liyuan Zhou et al.

Status: open (until 26 Feb 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-839', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Jan 2023 reply

Liyuan Zhou et al.

Liyuan Zhou et al.

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Short summary
This study reveals the effective sulfate formation in biomass burning photosensitizer particles under UV and SO2, of which the relative atmospheric importance in sulfate production was qualitatively compared to nitrate photolysis. On the basis of single-particle aerosol mass spectrometry measurements, the number percentage of sulfate-containing particles and sulfate relative peak area in single particle spectra exhibited a descending order of 3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde>vanillin>syringaldehyde.
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