Mixing state and particle hygroscopicity of organic-dominated aerosols over the Pearl River Delta region in China

Hong, Juan; Xu, Hanbing; Tan, Haobo; Yin, Changqing; Hao, Liqing; Li, Fei; Cai, Mingfu; Deng, Xuejiao; Wang, Nan; Su, Hang; Cheng, Yafang; Wang, Lin; Petäjä, Tuukka; Kerminen, Veli-Matti

page14080Simultaneous measurements of aerosol hygroscopicity and particle-phase chemical composition were performed at a suburban site over the Pearl River Delta region in the late summer of 2016 using a self-assembled hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA) and an Aerodyne quadruple aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM), respectively. The hygroscopic growth factor (HGF) of the Aitken mode (30 nm, 60 nm) and accumulation mode (100 nm, 145 nm) particles were obtained under 90 % relative humidity (RH). An external mixture was observed for particles of every size during this study, with a dominant mode of more-hygroscopic (MH) particles, as aged aerosols dominated due to the anthropogenic influence. The HGF of less-hygroscopic (LH) mode particles increased, while their number fractions decreased during the daytime due to a reduced degree of external mixing that probably resulted from the condensation of gaseous species. These LH mode particles in the early morning or late afternoon could be possibly dominated by carbonaceous material emitted from local automobile exhaust during rush hours. During polluted days with air masses flowing mainly from the coastal areas, the chemical composition of aerosols had a clear diurnal variation and a strong correlation with the mean HGF. Closure analysis was carried out between the HTDMA-measured HGF and the ACSM-derived hygroscopicity using various approximations for the hygroscopic growth factor of organic compounds (HGFinline-formulaorg). Considering the assumptions regarding the differences in the mass fraction of each component between PMinline-formula1 and 145 nm particles, the hygroscopicity-composition closure was achieved using an HGFinline-formulaorg of 1.26 for the organic material in the 145 nm particles and a simple linear relationship between the HGFinline-formulaorg and the oxidation level inferred from the inline-formulaO:C ratio of the organic material was suggested. Compared with the results from other environments, HGFinline-formulaorg obtained from our measurements appeared to be less sensitive to the variation of its oxidation level, which is, however, similar to the observations in the urban atmosphere of other megacities in China. This finding suggests that the anthropogenic precursors or the photooxidation mechanisms might differ significantly between the suburban and urban atmosphere in China and those in other background environments. This may lead to different characteristics of the oxidation products in secondary organic aerosols (SOA) and therefore to a different relationship between the HGFinline-formulaorg and its inline-formulaO:C ratio.

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Hong, Juan / Xu, Hanbing / Tan, Haobo / et al: Mixing state and particle hygroscopicity of organic-dominated aerosols over the Pearl River Delta region in China. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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