Special Issue: Progress & prospects of atmospheric environmental science

A case study of Asian dust storm particles: Chemical composition, reactivity to SO2 and hygroscopic properties

Qingxin Ma , Yongchun Liu , Chang Liu , Jinzhu Ma , Hong He


Received ,Revised , Accepted , Available online January 07, 2012

Volume 24,2012,Pages 62-71

Mineral dust comprises a great fraction of the global aerosol loading, but remains the largest uncertainty in predictions of the future climate due to its complexity in composition and physico-chemical properties. In this work, a case study characterizing Asian dust storm particles was conducted by multiple analysis methods, including SEM-EDS, XPS, FT-IR, BET, TPD/mass and Knudsen cell/mass. The morphology, elemental fraction, source distribution, true uptake coefficient for SO2, and hygroscopic behavior were studied. The major components of Asian dust storm particles are aluminosilicate, SiO2 and CaCO3, with organic compounds and inorganic nitrate coated on the surface. It has a low reactivity towards SO2 with a true uptake coefficient, 5.767×10-6, which limits the conversion of SO2 to sulfate during dust storm periods. The low reactivity also means that the heterogeneous reactions of SO2 in both dry and humid air conditions have little effect on the hygroscopic behavior of the dust particles.

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