Multiphase MCM–CAPRAM modeling of the formation and processing of secondary aerosol constituents observed during the Mt. Tai summer campaign in 2014

Despite the high abundance of secondary aerosols in the atmosphere, their formation mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this study, the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM) and the Chemical Aqueous-Phase Radical Mechanism (CAPRAM) are used to investigate the multiphase formation and processing of secondary aerosol constituents during the advection of air masses towards the measurement site of Mt. Tai in northern China. Trajectories with and without chemical–cloud interaction are modeled. Modeled radical and non-radical concentrations demonstrate that the summit of Mt. Tai, with an altitude of inline-formula∼1.5 km a.m.s.l., is characterized by a suburban oxidants budget. The modeled maximum gas-phase concentrations of the OH radical are inline-formula3.2×106 and inline-formula3.5×106 molec. cminline-formula−3 in simulations with and without cloud passages in the air parcel, respectively. In contrast with previous studies at Mt. Tai, this study has modeled chemical formation processes of secondary aerosol constituents under day vs. night and cloud vs. non-cloud cases along the trajectories towards Mt. Tai in detail. The model studies show that sulfate is mainly produced in simulations where the air parcel is influenced by cloud chemistry. Under the simulated conditions, the aqueous reaction of inline-formula $M5inlinescrollmathmlchem{\mathrm{normal HSO}}_{normal 3}^{-}$ 33pt16ptsvg-formulamathimg070bda7e09bec25c7f7c412ee06e9154 acp-20-6725-2020-ie00001.svg33pt16ptacp-20-6725-2020-ie00001.png with inline-formulaH2O2 is the major contributor to sulfate formation, contributing 67 % and 60 % in the simulations with cloud and non-cloud passages, respectively. The modeled nitrate formation is higher at nighttime than during daytime. The major pathway is aqueous-phase inline-formulaN2O5 hydrolysis, with a contribution of 72 % when cloud passages are considered and 70 % when they are not. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) compounds, e.g., glyoxylic, oxalic, pyruvic and malonic acid, are found to be mostly produced from the aqueous oxidations of hydrated glyoxal, hydrated glyoxylic acid, nitro-2-oxopropanoate and hydrated 3-oxopropanoic acid, respectively. Sensitivity studies reveal that gaseous volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions have a huge impact on the concentrations of modeled secondary aerosol compounds. Increasing the VOC emissions by a factor of 2 leads to linearly increased concentrations of the corresponding SOA compounds. Studies using the relative incremental reactivity (RIR) method have identified isoprene, 1,3-butadiene and toluene as the key precursors for glyoxylic and oxalic acid, but only isoprene is found to be a key precursor for pyruvic acid. Additionally, the model investigations demonstrate that an increased aerosol partitioning of glyoxal can play an important role in the aqueous-phase formation of glyoxylic and oxalic acid. Overall, the present study is the first that provides more detailed insights in the formation pathways of secondary aerosol constituents at Mt. Tai and clearlypage6726 emphasizes the importance of aqueous-phase chemical processes on the production of multifunctional carboxylic acids.

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Zhu, Yanhong / Tilgner, Andreas / Hoffmann, Erik Hans / et al: Multiphase MCM–CAPRAM modeling of the formation and processing of secondary aerosol constituents observed during the Mt. Tai summer campaign in 2014. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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