Formation mechanisms of nitrous acid (HONO) during the haze and non-haze periods in Beijing, China

Xiang He , Deng Lin , Shengrui Tong , Wenqian Zhang , Weiran Li , Fangjie Li , Chenhui Jia , Gen Zhang , Meifang Chen , Xinran Zhang , Zhen Wang , Maofa Ge , Yujing Mu , Jianmin Chen , Min Shao , Zifa Wang


Received May 30, 2021,Revised , Accepted September 13, 2021, Available online February 20, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 343-353

As an important precursor of hydroxyl radical (OH), nitrous acid (HONO) plays a significant role in atmospheric chemistry. Here, an observation of HONO and relevant air pollutants in an urban site of Beijing from 14 to 28 April, 2017 was performed. Two distinct peaks of HONO concentrations occurred during the observation. In contrast, the concentration of particulate matter in the first period (period Ⅰ) was significantly higher than that in the second period (period Ⅱ). Comparing to HONO sources in the two periods, we found that the direct vehicle emission was an essential source of the ambient HONO during both periods at night, especially in period Ⅱ. The heterogeneous reaction of NO2 was the dominant source in period Ⅰ, while the homogeneous reaction of NO with OH was more critical source at night in period Ⅱ. In the daytime, the heterogeneous reaction of NO2 was a significant source and was confirmed by the good correlation coefficients (R2) between the unknown sources (Punknown) with NO2, PM2.5, NO2 × PM2.5 in period Ⅰ. Moreover, when solar radiation and OH radicals were considered to explore unknown sources in the daytime, the enhanced correlation of Punknown with photolysis rate of NO2 and OH (JNO2 × OH) were 0.93 in period Ⅰ, 0.95 in period Ⅱ. These excellent correlation coefficients suggested that the unknown sources released HONO highly related to the solar radiation and the variation of OH radicals.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3