Recent Published Articles

Mixing states and secondary formation processes of organic nitrogen-containing single particles in Guangzhou, China

Zhen Zhou , Lijun Yun , Chunlei Cheng , Suxia Yang , Zaihua Wang , Mei Li , Qi En Zhong , Liyuan Mao , Sulin Liu , Xiaoya Cheng , Duanying Chen , Fan Yang


Received October 13, 2022,Revised , Accepted February 27, 2023, Available online March 07, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 62-73

Organic nitrogen (ON) compounds play a significant role in the light absorption of brown carbon and the formation of organic aerosols, however, the mixing state, secondary formation processes, and influencing factors of ON compounds are still unclear. This paper reports on the mixing state of ON-containing particles based on measurements obtained using a high-performance single particle aerosol mass spectrometer in January 2020 in Guangzhou. The ON-containing particles accounted for 21% of the total detected single particles, and the particle count and number fraction of the ON-containing particles were two times higher at night than during the day. The prominent increase in the content of ON-containing particles with the enhancement of NOx mainly occurred at night, and accompanied by high relative humidity and nitrate, which were associated with heterogeneous reactions between organics and gaseous NOx and/or NO3 radical. The synchronous decreases in ON-containing particles and the mass absorption coefficient of water-soluble extracts at 365 nm in the afternoon may be associated with photo-bleaching of the ON species in the particles. In addition, the positive matrix factorization analysis found five factors dominated the formation processes of ON particles, and the nitrate factor (33%) mainly contributed to the production of ON particles at night. The results of this study provide unique insights into the mixing states and secondary formation processes of the ON-containing particles.

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