Recent Published Articles

Elaborations of the influencing factors on the formation of secondary inorganic aerosols in a heavily polluted urban area of China


Junji Cao , Shuang Wang , Qiyuan Wang , Ting Zhang , Suixin Liu , Steven Sai Hang Ho , Jie Tian , Hui Su , Yong Zhang , Luyao Wang , Tingting Wu

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2023.03.022

Received February 20, 2022,Revised , Accepted March 14, 2023, Available online March 25, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 406-417

In this study, online water-soluble inorganic ions were detected to deduce the formation mechanism of secondary inorganic aerosol in Xianyang, China during wintertime. The dominant inorganic ions of sulfate (SO42−), nitrate (NO3), and ammonium (NH4+) (the sum of those is abbreviated as SNA) accounted for 17%, 21%, and 12% of PM2.5 mass, respectively. While the air quality deteriorated from excellent to poor grades, the precursor gas sulfur dioxide (SO2) of SO42- increased and then decreased with a fluctuation, while nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ammonia (NH3), precursors of NO3 and NH4+, and SNA show increasing trends. Meteorological factors including boundary layer height (BLH), temperature, and wind speed also show decline trends, except relative humidity (RH). Meanwhile, the secondary conversion ratio shows a remarkable increasing trend, indicating that there was a strong secondary transformation. From the perspective of chemical mechanisms, RH is positively correlated with sulfur oxidation ratios (SOR), nitrogen oxidation ratios (NOR), and ammonia conversion ratios, representing that the increase of humidity could promote the generation of SNA. Notably, SOR and NOR were also positively related to the ammonia. On the one hand, the low wind speed and BLH led to the accumulation of pollutants. On the other hand, the increases of RH and ammonia promoted more formations of SNA and PM2.5. The results advance our identification of the contributors to the haze episodes and assist to establish more efficient emission controls in Xianyang, in addition to other cities with similar emission and geographical characteristics.

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