A large-scale outdoor atmospheric simulation smog chamber for studying atmospheric photochemical processes: Characterization and preliminary application

Yongchun Liu , Junling Li , Hong Li , Xuezhong Wang , Weigang Wang , Maofa Ge , Hao Zhang , Xin Zhang , Kun Li , Yan Chen , Zhenhai Wu , Fahe Chai , Fan Meng , Yujing Mu , Abdelwahid Mellouki , Fang Bi , Yujie Zhang , Lingyan Wu


Received May 18, 2020,Revised , Accepted September 10, 2020, Available online October 02, 2020

Volume 102,2021,Pages 185-197

Understanding the formation mechanisms of secondary air pollution is very important for the formulation of air pollution control countermeasures in China. Thus, a large-scale outdoor atmospheric simulation smog chamber was constructed at Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (the CRAES Chamber), which was designed for simulating the atmospheric photochemical processes under the conditions close to the real atmospheric environment. The chamber consisted of a 56-m3 fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) Teflon film reactor, an electrically-driven stainless steel alloy shield, an auxiliary system, and multiple detection instrumentations. By performing a series of characterization experiments, we obtained basic parameters of the CRAES chamber, such as the mixing ability, the background reactivity, and the wall loss rates of gaseous compounds (propene, NO, NO2, ozone) and aerosols (ammonium sulfate). Oxidation experiments were also performed to study the formation of ozone and secondary organic aerosol (SOA), including α-pinene ozonolysis, propene and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene photooxidation. Temperature and seed effects on the vapor wall loss and SOA yields were obtained in this work: higher temperature and the presence of seed could reduce the vapor wall loss; SOA yield was found to depend inversely on temperature, and the presence of seed could increase SOA yield. The seed was suggested to be used in the chamber to reduce the interaction between the gas phase and chamber walls. The results above showed that the CRAES chamber was reliable and could meet the demands for investigating tropospheric chemistry.

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