Quantification of solid fuel combustion and aqueous chemistry contributions to secondary organic aerosol during wintertime haze events in Beijing

Tong, Yandong; Pospisilova, Veronika; Qi, Lu; Duan, Jing; Gu, Yifang; Kumar, Varun; Rai, Pragati; Stefenelli, Giulia; Wang, Liwei; Wang, Ying; Zhong, Haobin; Baltensperger, Urs; Cao, Junji; Huang, Ru-Jin; Prévôt, André S. H.; Slowik, Jay G.

In recent years, intense haze events in megacities such as Beijing have received significant attention. Although secondary organic aerosol (SOA) has been identified as a major contributor to such events, knowledge of its sources and formation mechanisms remains uncertain. We investigate this question through the first field deployment of the extractive electrospray ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometer (EESI-TOF) in Beijing, together with an Aerodyne long-time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (L-TOF AMS). Measurements were performed during autumn and winter 2017, capturing the transition from non-heating to heating seasons. Source apportionment resolved four factors related to primary organic aerosols (traffic, cooking, biomass burning, and coal combustion), as well as four related to SOA. Of the SOA factors, two were related to solid fuel combustion (SFC), one to SOA generated from aqueous chemistry, and one to mixed/indeterminate sources. The SFC factors were identified from spectral signatures corresponding to aromatic oxidation products, while the aqueous SOA factor was characterised by signatures of small organic acids and diacids and unusually low inline-formula M1inlinescrollmathml chem normal CO + / normal CO normal 2 + 53pt15ptsvg-formulamathimg722cf9890d045839922a0128699e5231 acp-21-9859-2021-ie00001.svg53pt15ptacp-21-9859-2021-ie00001.png fragment ratios measured by the AMS. Solid fuel combustion was the dominant source of SOA during the heating season. However, a comparably intense haze event was also observed in the non-heating season and was dominated by the aqueous SOA factor. During this event, aqueous chemistry was promoted by the combination of high relative humidity and air masses passing over high-NOinline-formulax regions to the south and east of Beijing, leading to high particulate nitrate. The resulting high liquid water content was highly correlated with the concentration of the aqueous SOA factor. These results highlight the strong compositional variability between different haze events, indicating the need to consider multiple formation pathways and precursor sources to describe SOA during intense haze events in Beijing.

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Tong, Yandong / Pospisilova, Veronika / Qi, Lu / et al: Quantification of solid fuel combustion and aqueous chemistry contributions to secondary organic aerosol during wintertime haze events in Beijing. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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