No Evidence for a Significant Impact of Heterogeneous Chemistry on Radical Concentrations in the North China Plain in Summer 2014.
ABSTRACT: The oxidation of nitric oxide to nitrogen dioxide by hydroperoxy (HO2) and organic peroxy radicals (RO2) is responsible for the chemical net ozone production in the troposphere and for the regeneration of hydroxyl radicals, the most important oxidant in the atmosphere. In Summer 2014, a field campaign was conducted in the North China Plain, where increasingly severe ozone pollution has been experienced in the last years. Chemical conditions in the campaign were representative for this area. Radical and trace gas concentrations were measured, allowing for calculating the turnover rates of gas-phase radical reactions. Therefore, the importance of heterogeneous HO2 uptake on aerosol could be experimentally determined. HO2 uptake could have suppressed ozone formation at that time because of the competition with gas-phase reactions that produce ozone. The successful reduction of the aerosol load in the North China Plain in the last years could have led to a significant decrease of HO2 loss on particles, so that ozone-forming reactions could have gained importance in the last years. However, the analysis of the measured radical budget in this campaign shows that HO2 aerosol uptake did not impact radical chemistry for chemical conditions in 2014. Therefore, reduced HO2 uptake on aerosol since then is likely not the reason for the increasing number of ozone pollution events in the North China Plain, contradicting conclusions made from model calculations reported in the literature.
Project description:Observations of surface ozone available from ∼1,000 sites across China for the past 5 years (2013-2017) show severe summertime pollution and regionally variable trends. We resolve the effect of meteorological variability on the ozone trends by using a multiple linear regression model. The residual of this regression shows increasing ozone trends of 1-3 ppbv a-1 in megacity clusters of eastern China that we attribute to changes in anthropogenic emissions. By contrast, ozone decreased in some areas of southern China. Anthropogenic NOx emissions in China are estimated to have decreased by 21% during 2013-2017, whereas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions changed little. Decreasing NOx would increase ozone under the VOC-limited conditions thought to prevail in urban China while decreasing ozone under rural NOx-limited conditions. However, simulations with the Goddard Earth Observing System Chemical Transport Model (GEOS-Chem) indicate that a more important factor for ozone trends in the North China Plain is the ∼40% decrease of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) over the 2013-2017 period, slowing down the aerosol sink of hydroperoxy (HO2) radicals and thus stimulating ozone production.
Project description:Isoprene is the most abundant non-methane volatile organic compound (VOC) and the largest contributor to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) burden on a global scale. In order to examine the influence of high concentrations of anthropogenic pollutants on isoprene-derived SOA (SOA i ) formation, summertime PM2.5 filter samples were collected with a three-hour sampling interval at a rural site in the North China Plain (NCP), and determined for SOA i tracers and other chemical species. RO2+NO pathway derived 2-methylglyceric acid presented a relatively higher contribution to the SOA i due to the high-NOx (~20?ppb) conditions in the NCP that suppressed the reactive uptake of RO2+HO2 reaction derived isoprene epoxydiols. Compared to particle acidity and water content, sulfate plays a dominant role in the heterogeneous formation process of SOA i . Diurnal variation and correlation of 2-methyltetrols with ozone suggested an important effect of isoprene ozonolysis on SOA i formation. SOA i increased linearly with levoglucosan during June 10-18, which can be attributed to an increasing emission of isoprene caused by the field burning of wheat straw and a favorable aqueous SOA formation during the aging process of the biomass burning plume. Our results suggested that isoprene oxidation is highly influenced by intensive anthropogenic activities in the NCP.
Project description:Reaction products from the ozonolysis of unsaturated lipids at gas-liquid interfaces have the potential to significantly influence the chemical and physical properties of organic aerosols in the atmosphere. In this study, the gas-phase dissociation behavior of lipid secondary ozonides is investigated using ion-trap mass spectrometry. Secondary ozonides were formed by reaction between a thin film of unsaturated lipids (fatty acid methyl esters or phospholipids) with ozone before being transferred to the gas phase as [M + Na]+ ions by electrospray ionization. Activation of the ionized ozonides was performed by either energetic collisions with helium buffer-gas or laser photolysis, with both processes yielding similar product distributions. Products arising from the decomposition of the ozonides were characterized by their mass-to-charge ratio and subsequent ion-molecule reactions. Product assignments were rationalized as arising from initial homolysis of the ozonide oxygen-oxygen bond with subsequent decomposition of the nascent biradical intermediate. In addition to classic aldehyde and carbonyl oxide-type fragments, carbon-centered radicals were identified with a number of decomposition pathways that indicated facile unimolecular radical migration. These findings reveal that photoactivation of secondary ozonides formed by the reaction of aerosol-bound lipids with tropospheric ozone may initiate radical-mediated chemistry within the particle resulting in surface modification. Graphical Abstract ?.
Project description:The hydroperoxy radical (HO2) plays a critical role in Earth's atmospheric chemistry as a component of many important reactions. The self-reaction of hydroperoxy radicals in the gas phase is strongly affected by the presence of water vapor. In this work, we explore the potential energy surfaces of hydroperoxy radicals hydrogen bonded to one or two water molecules, and predict atmospheric concentrations and vibrational spectra of these complexes. We predict that when the HO2 concentration is on the order of 10(8) molecules x cm(-3) at 298 K, that the number of HO2...H2O complexes is on the order of 10(7) molecules x cm(-3) and the number of HO2...(H2O)2 complexes is on the order of 10(6) molecules x cm(-3). Using the computed abundance of HO2...H2O, we predict that, at 298 K, the bimolecular rate constant for HO2...H2O + HO2 is about 10 times that for HO2 + HO2.
Project description:Explaining the formation of secondary organic aerosol is an intriguing question in atmospheric sciences because of its importance for Earth's radiation budget and the associated effects on health and ecosystems. A breakthrough was recently achieved in the understanding of secondary organic aerosol formation from ozone reactions of biogenic emissions by the rapid formation of highly oxidized multifunctional organic compounds via autoxidation. However, the important daytime hydroxyl radical reactions have been considered to be less important in this process. Here we report measurements on the reaction of hydroxyl radicals with ?- and ?-pinene applying improved mass spectrometric methods. Our laboratory results prove that the formation of highly oxidized products from hydroxyl radical reactions proceeds with considerably higher yields than previously reported. Field measurements support these findings. Our results allow for a better description of the diurnal behaviour of the highly oxidized product formation and subsequent secondary organic aerosol formation in the atmosphere.
Project description:During winter in the mid-latitudes, photochemical oxidation is significantly slower than in summer and the main radical oxidants driving formation of secondary pollutants, such as fine particulate matter and ozone, remain uncertain, owing to a lack of observations in this season. Using airborne observations, we quantify the contribution of various oxidants on a regional basis during winter, enabling improved chemical descriptions of wintertime air pollution transformations. We show that 25-60% of NO<sub>x</sub> is converted to N<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub> via multiphase reactions between gas-phase nitrogen oxide reservoirs and aerosol particles, with ~93% reacting in the marine boundary layer to form >2.5 ppbv ClNO<sub>2</sub>. This results in >70% of the oxidizing capacity of polluted air during winter being controlled, not by typical photochemical reactions, but from these multiphase reactions and emissions of volatile organic compounds, such as HCHO, highlighting the control local anthropogenic emissions have on the oxidizing capacity of the polluted wintertime atmosphere.
Project description:Much of our understanding of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from volatile organic compounds derives from laboratory chamber measurements, including mass yield and elemental composition. These measurements alone are insufficient to identify the chemical mechanisms of SOA production. We present here a comprehensive dataset on the molecular identity, abundance, and kinetics of ?-pinene SOA, a canonical system that has received much attention owing to its importance as an organic aerosol source in the pristine atmosphere. Identified organic species account for ?58-72% of the ?-pinene SOA mass, and are characterized as semivolatile/low-volatility monomers and extremely low volatility dimers, which exhibit comparable oxidation states yet different functionalities. Features of the ?-pinene SOA formation process are revealed for the first time, to our knowledge, from the dynamics of individual particle-phase components. Although monomeric products dominate the overall aerosol mass, rapid production of dimers plays a key role in initiating particle growth. Continuous production of monomers is observed after the parent ?-pinene is consumed, which cannot be explained solely by gas-phase photochemical production. Additionally, distinct responses of monomers and dimers to ?-pinene oxidation by ozone vs. hydroxyl radicals, temperature, and relative humidity are observed. Gas-phase radical combination reactions together with condensed phase rearrangement of labile molecules potentially explain the newly characterized SOA features, thereby opening up further avenues for understanding formation and evolution mechanisms of ?-pinene SOA.
Project description:We use a 0-D photochemical box model and a 3-D global chemistry-climate model, combined with observations from the NOAA Southeast Nexus (SENEX) aircraft campaign, to understand the sources and sinks of glyoxal over the Southeast United States. Box model simulations suggest a large difference in glyoxal production among three isoprene oxidation mechanisms (AM3ST, AM3B, and MCM v3.3.1). These mechanisms are then implemented into a 3-D global chemistry-climate model. Comparison with field observations shows that the average vertical profile of glyoxal is best reproduced by AM3ST with an effective reactive uptake coefficient ?glyx of 2 × 10-3, and AM3B without heterogeneous loss of glyoxal. The two mechanisms lead to 0-0.8 ?g m-3 secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from glyoxal in the boundary layer of the Southeast U.S. in summer. We consider this to be the lower limit for the contribution of glyoxal to SOA, as other sources of glyoxal other than isoprene are not included in our model. In addition, we find that AM3B shows better agreement on both formaldehyde and the correlation between glyoxal and formaldehyde (RGF = [GLYX]/[HCHO]), resulting from the suppression of ?-isoprene peroxy radicals (?-ISOPO2). We also find that MCM v3.3.1 may underestimate glyoxal production from isoprene oxidation, in part due to an underestimated yield from the reaction of IEPOX peroxy radicals (IEPOXOO) with HO2. Our work highlights that the gas-phase production of glyoxal represents a large uncertainty in quantifying its contribution to SOA.
Project description:Organic substances can adopt an amorphous solid or semisolid state, influencing the rate of heterogeneous reactions and multiphase processes in atmospheric aerosols. Here we demonstrate how molecular diffusion in the condensed phase affects the gas uptake and chemical transformation of semisolid organic particles. Flow tube experiments show that the ozone uptake and oxidative aging of amorphous protein is kinetically limited by bulk diffusion. The reactive gas uptake exhibits a pronounced increase with relative humidity, which can be explained by a decrease of viscosity and increase of diffusivity due to hygroscopic water uptake transforming the amorphous organic matrix from a glassy to a semisolid state (moisture-induced phase transition). The reaction rate depends on the condensed phase diffusion coefficients of both the oxidant and the organic reactant molecules, which can be described by a kinetic multilayer flux model but not by the traditional resistor model approach of multiphase chemistry. The chemical lifetime of reactive compounds in atmospheric particles can increase from seconds to days as the rate of diffusion in semisolid phases can decrease by multiple orders of magnitude in response to low temperature or low relative humidity. The findings demonstrate that the occurrence and properties of amorphous semisolid phases challenge traditional views and require advanced formalisms for the description of organic particle formation and transformation in atmospheric models of aerosol effects on air quality, public health, and climate.
Project description:The large-scale burning of crop residues in the North China Plain (NCP), one of the most densely populated world regions, was recently recognized to cause severe air pollution and harmful health effects. A reliable quantification of the magnitude of these fires is needed to assess regional air quality. Here, we use an eight-year record (2005-2012) of formaldehyde measurements from space to constrain the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in this region. Using inverse modelling, we derive that satellite-based post-harvest burning fluxes are, on average, at least a factor of 2 higher than state-of-the-art bottom-up statistical estimates, although with significant interannual variability. Crop burning is calculated to cause important increases in surface ozone (+7%) and fine aerosol concentrations (+18%) in the North China Plain in June. The impact of crop fires is also found in satellite observations of other species, glyoxal, nitrogen dioxide and methanol, and we show that those measurements validate the magnitude of the top-down fluxes. Our study indicates that the top-down crop burning fluxes of VOCs in June exceed by almost a factor of 2 the combined emissions from other anthropogenic activities in this region, underscoring the need for targeted actions towards changes in agricultural management practices.