Exploring HONO formation and its role in driving secondary pollutants formation during winter in the North China Plain

Hang Su , Shaobin Zhang , Guo Li , Nan Ma , Yao He , Shaowen Zhu , Xihao Pan , Wenlin Dong , Yanyan Zhang , Qingwei Luo , Jeannine Ditas , Uwe Kuhn , Yuxuan Zhang , Bin Yuan , Zelong Wang , Peng Cheng , Juan Hong , Jiangchuan Tao , Wanyun Xu , Ye Kuang , Qiaoqiao Wang


Received March 29, 2022,Revised , Accepted September 24, 2022, Available online October 07, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 83-97

Daytime HONO photolysis is an important source of atmospheric hydroxyl radicals (OH). Knowledge of HONO formation chemistry under typical haze conditions, however, is still limited. In the Multiphase chemistry experiment in Fogs and Aerosols in the North China Plain in 2018, we investigated the wintertime HONO formation and its atmospheric implications at a rural site Gucheng. Three different episodes based on atmospheric aerosol loading levels were classified: clean periods (CPs), moderately polluted periods (MPPs) and severely polluted periods (SPPs). Correlation analysis revealed that HONO formation via heterogeneous conversion of NO2 was more efficient on aerosol surfaces than on ground, highlighting the important role of aerosols in promoting HONO formation. Daytime HONO budget analysis indicated a large missing source (with an average production rate of 0.66 ± 0.26, 0.97 ± 0.47 and 1.45 ± 0.55 ppbV/hr for CPs, MPPs and SPPs, respectively), which strongly correlated with photo-enhanced reactions (NO2 heterogeneous reaction and particulate nitrate photolysis). Average OH formation derived from HONO photolysis reached up to (0.92 ± 0.71), (1.75 ± 1.26) and (1.82 ± 1.47) ppbV/hr in CPs, MPPs and SPPs respectively, much higher than that from O3 photolysis (i.e., (0.004 ± 0.004), (0.006 ± 0.007) and (0.0035 ± 0.0034) ppbV/hr). Such high OH production rates could markedly regulate the atmospheric oxidation capacity and hence promote the formation of secondary aerosols and pollutants.

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