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Dust-Dominated Coarse Particles as a Medium for Rapid Secondary Organic and Inorganic Aerosol Formation in Highly Polluted Air

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Su,  Hang
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Cheng,  Yafang
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Xu, W., Kuang, Y., Liang, L., He, Y., Cheng, H., Bian, Y., et al. (2020). Dust-Dominated Coarse Particles as a Medium for Rapid Secondary Organic and Inorganic Aerosol Formation in Highly Polluted Air. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(24), 15710-15721. doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c07243.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-0399-8
Abstract
Secondary aerosol (SA) frequently drives severe haze formation on the North China Plain. However, previous studies mostly focused on submicron SA formation, thus our understanding of SA formation on supermicron particles remains poor. In this study, PM2.5 chemical composition and PM10 number size distribution measurements revealed that the SA formation occurred in very distinct size ranges. In particular, SA formation on dust-dominated supermicron particles was surprisingly high and increased with relative humidity (RH). SA formed on supermicron aerosols reached comparable levels with that on submicron particles during evolutionary stages of haze episodes. These results suggested that dust particles served as a medium for rapid secondary organic and inorganic aerosol formation under favorable photochemical and RH conditions in a highly polluted environment. Further analysis indicated that SA formation pathways differed among distinct size ranges. Overall, our study highlights the importance of dust in SA formation during non-dust storm periods and the urgent need to perform size-resolved aerosol chemical and physical property measurements in future SA formation investigations that are extended to the coarse mode because the large amount of SA formed thereon might have significant impacts on ice nucleation, radiative forcing, and human health.