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Single particle characterization of summertime particles in Xi'an (China)

Chen, Yang, Liu, Huanwu, Yang, Fumo, Zhang, Shumin, Li, Wentao, Shi, Guangming, Wang, Huanbo, Tian, Mi, Liu, Suixin, Huang, Rujin, Wang, Qiyuan, Wang, Ping, Cao, Junji
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.636 pp. 1279-1290
acidity, aerosols, ammonium, basins, chemical composition, data collection, droplets, mixing, nitrates, oxalates, relative humidity, spectrometers, sulfates, summer, urban areas, vapors, China
Urban particles in Xi'an during summertime were investigated using a single particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SPAMS). Twelve major particle types were resolved, including EC-Sul-Nit (-Sul stands for sulfate, -Nit for nitrate, and 25% in number fraction), EC(6%), EC-Nit (12%) and, EC-Sul (8%), mixed Elemental and Organic Carbon-Sul-Nit (9%), ECOC-Sul (8%), K-Nit (12%), OC (8%), NaK-Nit (5%), Fe-Nit (5%), Ca-Nit (1%), and Other (1%). Among these particle types, chemical composition, mixing state, and wind-dependent analyses were conducted to investigate their originations and sources. During summertime, traffic-related particles were up to 83% in the SPAMS dataset. Two major originations of urban particles were identified, including the local aging and short-distance transport mainly from the southeast. Size-resolved relative acidity ((sulfate + nitrate) / ammonium) analysis suggested that urban particles were more acidic with an aerodynamic diameter < 0.8 μm. In diurnal cycle, the strongest relative aerosol acidity occurred between 7:00 and 9:00 in the morning when relative humidity was between 60 and 70%, and the weakest acidity occurred from 13:00–15:00. Among all major particle types, OC and K-Nit had stronger relative aerosol acidity than other types. Mixing state analysis indicated that the organic semi-volatile vapor is favorable to condense on the OC-related particles (OC, ECOC-Sul, and ECOC-Sul-Nit) as evidence that primary organic aerosol (POA) would enhance the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation via gas-to-particle phase partitioning when SOA and POA are miscible. Oxalate also tends to be observed in the droplet of OC-related particles. In addition, the enrichment of oxalate was observed in Fe-Nit particles. This study would be useful to understand the characterization, mixing state, source, origination, and processing of urban particles during summertime in Xi'an as well as the urban areas in the Guanzhong Basin.