Modeling the impact of heterogeneous reactions of chlorine on summertime nitrate formation in Beijing, China
Comprehensive chlorine heterogeneous chemistry is incorporated into the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to evaluate the impact of chlorine-related heterogeneous reaction on diurnal and nocturnal nitrate formation and quantify the nitrate formation from gas-to-particle partitioning of HNO3 and from different heterogeneous pathways. The results show that these heterogeneous reactions increase the atmospheric Cl2 and ClNO2 level (∼ 100 %), which further affects the nitrate formation. Sensitivity analyses of uptake coefficients show that the empirical uptake coefficient for the O3 heterogeneous reaction with chlorinated particles may lead to the large uncertainties in the predicted Cl2 and nitrate concentrations. The N2O5 uptake coefficient with particulate Cl− concentration dependence performs better in capturing the concentration of ClNO2 and nocturnal nitrate concentration. The reaction of OH and NO2 in the daytime increases the nitrate by ∼15 % when the heterogeneous chlorine chemistry is incorporated, resulting in more nitrate formation from HNO3 gas-to-particle partitioning. By contrast, the contribution of the heterogeneous reaction of N2O5 to nitrate concentrations decreases by about 27 % in the nighttime, when its reactions with chlorinated particles are considered. However, the generated gas-phase ClNO2 from the heterogeneous reaction of N2O5 and chlorine-containing particles further reacts with the particle surface to increase the nitrate by 6 %. In general, this study highlights the potential of significant underestimation of daytime concentrations and overestimation of nighttime nitrate concentrations for chemical transport models without proper chlorine chemistry in the gas and particle phases.