Enhanced formation of fine particulate nitrate at a rural site on the North China Plain in summer: The important roles of ammonia and ozone

TitleEnhanced formation of fine particulate nitrate at a rural site on the North China Plain in summer: The important roles of ammonia and ozone
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWang, W., T. Zhu, L. Yao, J. Zhang, Y. Zhu, L. Wen, J. Chen, L. Yang, X. Wang, C. Xu, and X. Sui
Journal TitleAtmospheric Environment
Volume101
Start Page294
Pagination294-302
KeywordsAmmonia, Fine particulate nitrates, North China Plain, ozone, Secondary formation
Abstract

Severe PM2.5 pollution was observed frequently on the North China Plain, and nitrate contributed a large fraction of the elevated PM2.5 concentrations. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the formation pathways of these fine particulate nitrate and the key factors that affect these pathways, field measurements of fine particulate nitrate and related air pollutants were made at a rural site on the North China Plain in the summer of 2013. Extremely high concentrations of fine particulate nitrate were frequently observed at night and in the early morning. The maximum hourly concentration of fine particulate nitrate reached 87.2 μg m−3. This concentration accounted for 29.9% of the PM2.5. The very high NH3 concentration in the early morning significantly accelerated the formation of fine particulate nitrate, as indicated by the concurrent appearance of NH3 and NO3− concentration peaks and a rising neutralization ratio (the equivalent ratio of NH4+ to the sum of SO42− and NO3−). On a number of other episode days, strong photochemical activity during daytime led to high concentrations of O3 at night. The fast secondary formation of fine particulate nitrate was mainly attributed to the hydrolysis of N2O5, which was produced from O3 and NO2. Considering the important roles of NH3 and O3 in fine particulate nitrate formation, we suggest the control of NH3 emissions and photochemical pollution to address the high levels of fine particulate nitrate and the severe PM2.5 pollution on the North China Plain.

DOI10.1016/j.atmosenv.2014.11.037
Tyndall Consortium Institution

Fudan

Research Programme

Cities and Coasts