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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 16, 2022
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. Recently, the occurrence of fog and haze over China has increased. The retrieval of trace gases from the multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) is challenging under these conditions. In this study, various reported retrieval settings for formaldehyde (HCHO) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) are compared to evaluate the performance of these settings under different meteorological conditions (clear day, haze, and fog). The dataset from 1st December 2019 to 31st March 2020 over Nanjing, China, is used in this study. The results indicated that for HCHO, the optimal settings were in the 324.5–359 nm wavelength window with a polynomial order of five. At these settings, the fitting and root mean squared (RMS) errors for column density were considerably improved for haze and fog conditions, and the differential slant column densities (DSCDs) showed more accurate values compared to the DSCDs between 336.5 and 359 nm. For SO2, the optimal settings for retrieval were found to be at 307–328 nm with a polynomial order of five. Here, root mean square (RMS) and fitting errors were significantly lower under all conditions. The observed HCHO and SO2 vertical column densities were significantly lower on fog days compared to clear days, reflecting a decreased chemical productionmore »of HCHO and aqueous phase oxidation of SO2 in fog droplets.« less
  5. Ambient carbonyls are critical precursors of ozone (O3) and secondary organic aerosols (SOA). To better understand the pollution characteristics of carbonyls in Taiyuan, field samplings were conducted, and 13 carbonyls were detected in an urban site of Taiyuan for the four seasons. The total concentration of carbonyls in the atmosphere was 19.67 ± 8.56 μg/m3. Formaldehyde (7.70 ± 4.78 μg/m3), acetaldehyde (2.95 ± 1.20 μg/m3) and acetone (5.57 ± 2.41 μg/m3) were the dominant carbonyl compounds, accounting for more than 85% of the total carbonyls. The highest values for formaldehyde and acetone occurred in summer and autumn, respectively, and the lowest occurred in winter. The variations for acetaldehyde were not distinct in the four seasons. Formaldehyde and acetone levels increased obviously in the daytime and decreased at night, while acetaldehyde did not show significant diurnal variations. Higher temperature and stronger sunlight intensity could facilitate the photochemical reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and enhance the O3 levels in summer. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde contributed 70–95% of carbonyls’ ozone formation potential (OFP) caused by carbonyls with the highest totals of 268.62 μg/m3 and 38.14 μg/m3, respectively. The highest concentrations of carbonyls from south and southwest winds in summer suggest that the cokemore »industries in the southern Taiyuan Basin should be, firstly, controlled for the alleviation of ozone pollution.« less
  6. Abstract. Carbonaceous aerosols have great influence on the air quality, human healthand climate change. Except for organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC), brown carbon (BrC) mainly originates from biomass burning as a group of OC, with strong absorption from the visible to near-ultravioletwavelengths, and makes a considerable contribution to global warming. Largenumbers of studies have reported long-term observation of OC and ECconcentrations throughout the world, but studies of BrC based on long-termobservations are rather limited. In this study, we established atwo-wavelength method (658 and 405 nm) applied in the Sunset thermal–optical carbon analyzer. Based on a 1-year observation, we firstly investigated the characteristics, meteorological impact and transport process of OC and EC. Since BrC absorbs light at 405 nm more effectively than 658 nm, we defined the enhanced concentrations (dEC = EC405 nm − EC658 nm) and gave the possibility of providing an indicator of BrC. The receptor model and MODIS fire information were used to identify the presence of BrC aerosols. Our results showed that the carbonaceous aerosol concentrations were the highest in winter and lowest in summer. Traffic emission was an important source of carbonaceous aerosols in Nanjing. Receptor model results showed that strong local emissions were found for OC and EC; however, dEC was significantly affected by regional or long-range transport.The dEC/OC and OC/EC ratios showedmore »similar diurnal patterns, and the dEC/OC increased when the OC/EC ratios increased, indicating strong secondarysources or biomass burning contributions to dEC. A total of two biomass burning events both in summer and winter were analyzed, and the results showed that the dEC concentrations were obviously higher on biomass burning days; however, no similar levels of the OC and EC concentrations were found both in biomass burning days and normal days in summer, suggesting that biomass burning emissions made a great contribution to dEC, and the sources of OC and EC were more complicated. Large number of open fire counts from the northwestern and southwestern areas of the study site were observed in winter and significantly contributed to OC, EC and dEC. In addition, the nearby Yangtze River Deltaarea was one of the main potential source areas of dEC, suggesting thatanthropogenic emissions could also be important sources of dEC. The resultsproved that dEC can be an indicator of BrC on biomass burning days. Ourmodified two-wavelength instrument provided more information than thetraditional single-wavelength thermal–optical carbon analyzer and gave a new idea about the measurement of BrC; the application of dEC data needs to be further investigated.« less