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  Isotopic constraints on heterogeneous sulfate production in Beijing haze

He, P., Alexander, B., Geng, L., Chi, X., Fan, S., Zhan, H., et al. (2018). Isotopic constraints on heterogeneous sulfate production in Beijing haze. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(8), 5515-5528. doi:10.5194/acp-18-5515-2018.

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He, Pengzhen1, Author
Alexander, Becky1, Author
Geng, Lei1, Author
Chi, Xiyuan1, Author
Fan, Shidong1, Author
Zhan, Haicong1, Author
Kang, Hui1, Author
Zheng, Guangjie2, Author           
Cheng, Yafang2, Author           
Su, Hang2, Author           
Liu, Cheng1, Author
Xie, Zhouqing1, Author
1external, ou_persistent22              
2Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_1826290              


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 Abstract: Discerning mechanisms of sulfate formation during fine-particle pollution (referred to as haze hereafter) in Beijing is important for understanding the rapid evolution of haze and for developing cost-effective air pollution mitigation strategies. Here we present observations of the oxygen-17 excess of PM2.5 sulfate (Δ17O(SO42−)) collected in Beijing haze from October 2014 to January 2015 to constrain possible sulfate formation pathways. Throughout the sampling campaign, the 12-hourly averaged PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 16 to 323µg m−3 with a mean of (141  ±  88 (1σ))µg m−3, with SO42− representing 8–25% of PM2.5 mass. The observed Δ17O(SO42−) varied from 0.1 to 1.6‰ with a mean of (0.9  ±  0.3)‰. Δ17O(SO42−) increased with PM2.5 levels in October 2014 while the opposite trend was observed from November 2014 to January 2015. Our estimate suggested that in-cloud reactions dominated sulfate production on polluted days (PDs, PM2.5  ≥  75µg m−3) of Case II in October 2014 due to the relatively high cloud liquid water content, with a fractional contribution of up to 68%. During PDs of Cases I and III–V, heterogeneous sulfate production (Phet) was estimated to contribute 41–54% to total sulfate formation with a mean of (48  ±  5)%. For the specific mechanisms of heterogeneous oxidation of SO2, chemical reaction kinetics calculations suggested S(IV) ( = SO2 ⚫H2O+HSO3−  +  SO32−) oxidation by H2O2 in aerosol water accounted for 5–13% of Phet. The relative importance of heterogeneous sulfate production by other mechanisms was constrained by our observed Δ17O(SO42−). Heterogeneous sulfate production via S(IV) oxidation by O3 was estimated to contribute 21–22% of Phet on average. Heterogeneous sulfate production pathways that result in zero-Δ17O(SO42−), such as S(IV) oxidation by NO2 in aerosol water and/or by O2 via a radical chain mechanism, contributed the remaining 66–73% of Phet. The assumption about the thermodynamic state of aerosols (stable or metastable) was found to significantly influence the calculated aerosol pH (7.6  ±  0.1 or 4.7  ±  1.1, respectively), and thus influence the relative importance of heterogeneous sulfate production via S(IV) oxidation by NO2 and by O2. Our local atmospheric conditions-based calculations suggest sulfate formation via NO2 oxidation can be the dominant pathway in aerosols at high-pH conditions calculated assuming stable state while S(IV) oxidation by O2 can be the dominant pathway providing that highly acidic aerosols (pH ≤ 3) exist. Our local atmospheric-conditions-based calculations illustrate the utility of Δ17O(SO42−) for quantifying sulfate formation pathways, but this estimate may be further improved with future regional modeling work.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: ISI: 000430738100003
DOI: 10.5194/acp-18-5515-2018
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Title: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
  Abbreviation : ACP
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Göttingen : Copernicus Publications
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 18 (8) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 5515 - 5528 Identifier: ISSN: 1680-7316
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/111030403014016