Recent Published Articles

Water-soluble brown carbon in atmospheric aerosols from the resource-dependent cities: Optical properties, chemical compositions and sources

Jiang He , Haoji Wang , Yue Su , Yangzheng Liu , Fei Xie , Xingjun Zhou , Ruihong Yu , Changwei Lü


Received August 18, 2022,Revised , Accepted February 16, 2023, Available online March 05, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 74-87

As a vital type of light-absorbing aerosol, brown carbon (BrC) presents inherent associations with atmospheric photochemistry and climate change. However, the understanding of the chemical and optical properties of BrC is limited, especially in some resource-dependent cities with long heating periods in northwest China. This study showed that the annual average abundances of Water-soluble BrC (WS-BrC) were 9.33±7.42 and 8.69±6.29 µg/m3 in Baotou and Wuhai and the concentrations, absorption coefficient (Abs365), and mass absorption efficiency (MAE365) of WS-BrC presented significant seasonal patterns, with high values in the heating season and low values in the non-heating season; while showing opposite seasonal trends for the Absorption Ångström exponent (AAE300-400). Comparatively, the levels of WS-BrC in developing regions (such as cities in Asia) were higher than those in developed regions (such as cities in Europe and Australia), indicating the significant differences in energy consumption in these regions. By combining fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (EEM) spectra with the parallel factor (PARAFAC) model, humic-like (C1 and C2) and protein-like (C3) substances were identified, and accounted for 61.40%±4.66% and 38.6%±3.78% at Baotou, and 60.33%±6.29% and 39.67%±4.17% at Wuhai, respectively. The results of source apportionment suggested that the potential source regions of WS-BrC varied in heating vs. non-heating seasons and that the properties of WS-BrC significantly depended on primary emissions (e.g., combustion emissions) and secondary formation.

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