Particle number size distributions and formation and growth rates of different new particle formation types of a megacity in China

Rongrong Wu , Liang Dai , Yu Zhao , Lei Zhang , Dong Chen


Received April 19, 2022,Revised , Accepted July 18, 2022, Available online July 27, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 11-25

To understand the contribution of new particle formation (NPF) events to ambient fine particle pollution, measurements of particle size distributions, trace gases and meteorological conditions, were conducted at a suburban site (NJU) from October to December 2016 and at an industrial site (NUIST) from September to November 2015 in Nanjing. According to the temporal evolution of the particle size distributions, three types NPF events were observed: typical NPF (Type A), moderate NPF events (Type B) and strong NPF (Type C) events. The favorable conditions for Type A events included low relative humidity, low concentration of pre-existing particles, and high solar radiation. The favorable conditions of Type B events were similar to Type A, except for a higher concentration of pre-existing particles. Type C events were more likely to happen with the higher relative humidity, lower solar radiation and continuous growth of pre-existing particle concentration. The formation rate of 3 nm (J3) was the lowest for Type A events and highest for Type C events. In contrast, the growth rates of 10 nm and 40 nm particles were the highest for Type A, and lowest for Type C. Results show that NPF events with only higher J3 would lead to the accumulation of nucleation mode particles. Sulfuric acid was important for the formation of particles but had little effect on the growth of particle size.

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