Estimation of particulate organic nitrates from thermodenuder–aerosol mass spectrometer measurements in the North China Plain
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Estimation of particulate organic nitrates from thermodenuder–aerosol mass spectrometer measurements in the North China Plain

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  • Journal Title:
    Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
  • Description:
    Particulate organic nitrates (pON) are an important component of secondary organic aerosol in biogenic-emission-dominant environments and play a critical role in NOx cycles. However, estimation of pON has been a challenge in polluted environments, e.g., North China Plain, with high concentrations of inorganic nitrate and NOx. Here we developed a method for estimation of pON from the measurements of high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer coupled with a thermodenuder based on the volatility differences between inorganic nitrate and pON. The results generally correlated well with those estimated from positive matrix factorization of combined organic and inorganic mass spectra and from the ratio of NO+ to NO+2 (NO+x ratio), yet they had improvements in reducing negative values due to the influences of high concentration of inorganic nitrate and constant NO+x ratio of organic nitrates (RON). By applying this approach to the measurements at an urban (Beijing) and a rural site (Gucheng) in summer and winter in the North China Plain, we estimated that the average mass concentrations of NO3,org (1.8 µg m−3 vs. 1.0 µg m−3) and pON to OA (27.5 % vs. 14.8 %) were higher in summer than in winter in Beijing, indicating more pON formation in biogenically and anthropogenically mixed environments. In addition, the average NO3,org loading in Gucheng was 1.9 µg m−3, and the pON at the rural site also showed higher contribution to OA than that in Beijing during wintertime due to higher primary emissions and gaseous precursors in Gucheng. In addition, RON was determined and showed considerable differences between day–night and clean–polluted periods, highlighting the complexity of pON compounds from different chemical pathways (e.g., OH and NO3 oxidation) and sources.
  • Source:
    Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 3693–3705, 2021
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    CC BY
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