Characterization of submicron organic particles in Beijing during summertime: comparison between SP-AMS and HR-AMS

Wang, Junfeng; Ye, Jianhuai; Liu, Dantong; Wu, Yangzhou; Zhao, Jian; Xu, Weiqi; Xie, Conghui; Shen, Fuzhen; Zhang, Jie; Ohno, Paul E.; Qin, Yiming; Zhao, Xiuyong; Martin, Scot T.; Lee, Alex K. Y.; Fu, Pingqing; Jacob, Daniel J.; Zhang, Qi; Sun, Yele; Chen, Mindong; Ge, Xinlei

Black carbon (BC) particles in Beijing summer haze play an important role in the regional radiation balance and related environmental processes. Understanding the factors that lead to variability of the impacts of BC remains limited. Here, we present observations by a soot-particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SP-AMS) of BC-containing submicron particulate matter (inline-formulaBC−PM1) in Beijing, China, during summer 2017. These observations were compared to concurrently measured total non-refractory submicron particulate matter (inline-formulaNR−PM1) by a high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-AMS). Distinct properties were observed between inline-formulaNR−PM1 and inline-formulaBC−PM1 relevant to organic aerosol (OA) composition. Hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA) in inline-formulaBC−PM1 was found to be up to 2-fold higher than that in inline-formulaNR−PM1 in fresh vehicle emissions, suggesting that a part of HOA in inline-formulaBC−PM1 may be overestimated, likely due to the change of collection efficiency of SP-AMS. Cooking-related OA was only identified in inline-formulaNR−PM1, whereas aged biomass burning OA (A-BBOA) was a unique factor only identified in inline-formulaBC−PM1. The A-BBOA was linked to heavily coated BC, which may lead to enhancement of the light absorption ability of BC by a factor of 2 via the “lensing effect”. More-oxidized oxygenated OA identified in BC-containing particles was found to be slightly different from that observed by HR-AMS, mainly due to the influence of A-BBOA. Overall, these findings highlight that BC in urban Beijing is partially of agricultural fire origin and that a unique biomass-burning-related OA associated with BC may be ubiquitous in aged inline-formulaBC−PM1, and this OA may play a role in affecting air quality and climate that has not previously been fully considered.

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Wang, Junfeng / Ye, Jianhuai / Liu, Dantong / et al: Characterization of submicron organic particles in Beijing during summertime: comparison between SP-AMS and HR-AMS. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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