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    On the abundance and source contributions of dicarboxylic acids in size-resolved aerosol particles at continental sites in central Europe
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) van Pinxteren, D.; Neusüß, C.; Herrmann, H.
    Dicarboxylic acids (DCAs) are among the most abundant organic compounds observed in atmospheric aerosol particles and have been extensively studied at many places around the world. The importance of the various primary sources and secondary formation pathways discussed in the literature is often difficult to assess from field studies, though. In the present study, a large data set of size-resolved DCA concentrations from several inland sites in Germany is combined with results from a recently developed approach of statistical back-trajectory analysis and additional data. Principal component analysis is then used to reveal the most important factors governing the abundance of DCAs in different particle size ranges. The two most important sources revealed are (i) photochemical formation during intense radiation days in polluted air masses, likely occurring in the gas phase on short timescales (gasSOA), and (ii) secondary reactions in anthropogenically influenced air masses, likely occurring in the aqueous phase on longer timescales (aqSOA). While the first source strongly impacts DCA concentrations mainly in small and large particles, the second one enhances accumulation mode DCAs and is responsible for the bulk of the observed concentrations. Primary sources were found to be minor (sea salt, soil resuspension) or non-existent (biomass burning, traffic). The results can be regarded as representative for typical central European continental conditions.
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    Aerosol hygroscopicity derived from size-segregated chemical composition and its parameterization in the North China Plain
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Liu, H.J.; Zhao, C.S.; Nekat, B.; Ma, N.; Wiedensohler, A.; van Pinxteren, D.; Spindler, G.; Müller, K.; Herrmann, H.
    Hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles is of significant importance in quantifying the aerosol radiative effect in the atmosphere. In this study, hygroscopic properties of ambient particles are investigated based on particle chemical composition at a suburban site in the North China Plain during the HaChi campaign (Haze in China) in summer 2009. The size-segregated aerosol particulate mass concentration as well as the particle components such as inorganic ions, organic carbon and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) are identified from aerosol particle samples collected with a ten-stage impactor. An iterative algorithm is developed to evaluate the hygroscopicity parameter κ from the measured chemical composition of particles. During the HaChi summer campaign, almost half of the mass concentration of particles between 150 nm and 1 μm is contributed by inorganic species. Organic matter (OM) is abundant in ultrafine particles, and 77% of the particulate mass with diameter (Dp) of around 30 nm is composed of OM. A large fraction of coarse particle mass is undetermined and is assumed to be insoluble mineral dust and liquid water. The campaign's average size distribution of κ values shows three distinct modes: a less hygroscopic mode (Dp < 150 nm) with κ slightly above 0.2, a highly hygroscopic mode (150 nm < Dp < 1 μm) with κ greater than 0.3 and a nearly hydrophobic mode (Dp > 1 μm) with κ of about 0.1. The peak of the κ curve appears around 450 nm with a maximum value of 0.35. The derived κ values are consistent with results measured with a high humidity tandem differential mobility analyzer within the size range of 50–250 nm. Inorganics are the predominant species contributing to particle hygroscopicity, especially for particles between 150 nm and 1 μm. For example, NH4NO3, H2SO4, NH4HSO4 and (NH4)2SO4 account for nearly 90% of κ for particles of around 900 nm. For ultrafine particles, WSOC plays a critical role in particle hygroscopicity due to the predominant mass fraction of OM in ultrafine particles. WSOC for particles of around 30 nm contribute 52% of κ. Aerosol hygroscopicity is related to synoptic transport patterns. When southerly wind dominates, particles are more hygroscopic; when northerly wind dominates, particles are less hygroscopic. Aerosol hygroscopicity also has a diurnal variation, which can be explained by the diurnal evolution of planetary boundary layer, photochemical aging processes during daytime and enhanced black carbon emission at night. κ is highly correlated with mass fractions of SO42−, NO3− and NH4+ for all sampled particles as well as with the mass fraction of WSOC for particles of less than 100 nm. A parameterization scheme for κ is developed using mass fractions of SO42−, NO3−, NH4+ and WSOC due to their high correlations with κ, and κ calculated from the parameterization agrees well with κ derived from the particle's chemical composition. Further analysis shows that the parameterization scheme is applicable to other aerosol studies in China.
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    Seasonal and diurnal variations of particulate nitrate and organic matter at the IfT research station Melpitz
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Poulain, L.; Spindler, G.; Birmili, W.; Plass-Dülmer, C.; Weinhold, K.; Wiedensohler, A.; Herrmann, H.
    Ammonium nitrate and several organic compounds such as dicarboxylic acids (e.g. succinic acid, glutaric acid), some Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAHs) or some n-alkanes are semi-volatile. The transition of these compounds between the gas and particulate phase may significantly change the aerosol particles radiative properties, the heterogeneous chemical properties, and, naturally, the total particulate mass concentration. To better assess these time-dependent effects, three intensive field experiments were conducted in 2008–2009 at the Central European EMEP research station Melpitz (Germany) using an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS). Data from all seasons highlight organic matter as being the most important particulate fraction of PM1 in summer (59%) while in winter, the nitrate fraction was more prevalent (34.4%). The diurnal variation of nitrate always showed the lowest concentration during the day while its concentration increased during the night. This night increase of nitrate concentration was higher in winter (ΔNO3− = 3.6 μg m−3) than in summer (ΔNO3− = 0.7 μg m−3). The variation in particulate nitrate was inherently linked to the gas-to-particle-phase equilibrium of ammonium nitrate and the dynamics of the atmosphere during day. The results of this study suggest that during summer nights, the condensation of HNO3 and NH3 on pre-existing particles represents the most prevalent source of nitrate, whereas during winter, nighttime chemistry is the predominant source of nitrate. During the summer 2008's campaign, a clear diurnal evolution in the oxidation state of the organic matter became evident (Organic Mass to Organic Carbon ratio (OM/OC) ranging from 1.65 during night to 1.80 during day and carbon oxidation state (OSc) from −0.66 to −0.4), which could be correlated to hydroxyl radical (OH) and ozone concentrations, indicating a photochemical transformation process. In summer, the organic particulate matter seemed to be heavily influenced by regional secondary formation and transformation processes, facilitated by photochemical production processes as well as a diurnal cycling of the substances between the gas and particulate phase. In winter, these processes were obviously less pronounced (OM/OC ranging from 1.60 to 1.67 and OSc from −0.8 to −0.7), so that organic matter apparently originated mainly from aged particles and long range transport.
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    Aerosol size-resolved trace metal composition in remote northern tropical atlantic marine environment: Case study cape verde islands
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Fomba, K.W.; Müller, K.; van Pinxteren, D.; Herrmann, H.
    Size-resolved trace metal concentrations of 15 elements in aerosol particles at the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO) under remote background conditions were investigated through analysis of aerosol samples collected during intensive field studies from January 2007 to November 2011 using total reflection x-ray fluorescence (TXRF). The identification of the main air mass origin that influence remote marine aerosol in the northern tropical Atlantic has been investigated. In total, 317 samples were collected. The dataset was analyzed according to the main air mass inflow at the station. We found that remote conditions make up about 45% of the meteorological conditions in a year at CVAO and thus the northern tropical Atlantic. Surprisingly, air masses from North America are often responsible for higher trace metal concentrations in this region. Elements such as Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni, and V were mostly found in the submicron size fractions, while elements with dominant crustal or oceanic origin such as Fe, Ti, Mn, Sr, and Rb were found in the coarse fractions (>1 μm). The highest metal concentrations, especially for Zn (3.23 ng m−3), Cu (0.81 ng m−3), Sr (2.63 ng m−3), and Cr (0.53 ng m−3), were observed in air masses originating from North America and the concentrations were within the same concentration range to those reported previously in the literature for remote marine aerosols. Fe (12.26 ng m−3), Ti (0.91 ng m−3), and Mn (0.35 ng m−3) showed higher concentrations when air mass came from Europe and the Canary Islands. Pb concentration was low (<0.20 ng m−3) and did not vary significantly with air mass direction. The low Pb concentration is indicative of the complete phase-out of leaded gasoline even in African countries. Crustal enrichment factor values decreased from fine to coarse-mode particles with low values (<4) observed for Fe, Mn, and Rb, and high values (>20) for Zn, Cu, Ni, Cr, Pb, and Se. The observed enrichment of the elements was attributed to crustal, marine, anthropogenic, and biogenic sources, as well as long-range transport and resuspension. Zn, Cu and Pb were indicators of anthropogenic activities, while Ti and Sr were indicators of crustal and marine origin, respectively. Oceanic and biogenic emissions might have contributed to most of the Se observed. This work provides the first long-term size-resolved trace metals study for remote tropical northern Atlantic marine aerosols and the dataset could serve as good initiation of yearly flux estimates.
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    Trace metal characterization of aerosol particles and cloud water during HCCT 2010
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Fomba, K.W.; van Pinxteren, D.; Müller, K.; Iinuma, Y.; Lee, T.; Collett Jr., J.L.; Herrmann, H.
    Trace metal characterization of bulk and size-resolved aerosol and cloud water samples were performed during the Hill Cap Cloud Thuringia (HCCT) campaign. Cloud water was collected at the top of Mt. Schmücke while aerosol samples were collected at two stations upwind and downwind of Mt. Schmücke. Fourteen trace metals including Ti, V, Fe, Mn, Co, Zn, Ni, Cu, As, Sr, Rb, Pb, Cr, and Se were investigated during four full cloud events (FCEs) that fulfilled the conditions of a continuous air mass flow through the three stations. Aerosol particle trace metal concentrations were found to be lower than those observed in the same region during previous field experiments but were within a similar range to those observed in other rural regions in Europe. Fe and Zn were the most abundant elements with concentration ranges of 0.2–111.6 and 1.1–32.1 ng m−3, respectively. Fe, Mn, and Ti were mainly found in coarse mode aerosols while Zn, Pb, and As were mostly found in the fine mode. Correlation and enrichment factor analysis of trace metals revealed that trace metals such as Ti and Rb were mostly of crustal origin while trace metals such as Zn, Pb, As, Cr, Ni, V, and Cu were of anthropogenic origin. Trace metals such as Fe and Mn were of mixed origins including crustal and combustion sources. Trace metal cloud water concentration decreased from Ti, Mn, Cr, to Co with average concentrations of 9.18, 5.59, 5.54, and 0.46 μg L−1, respectively. A non-uniform distribution of soluble Fe, Cu, and Mn was observed across the cloud drop sizes. Soluble Fe and Cu were found mainly in cloud droplets with diameters between 16 and 22 μm, while Mn was found mostly in larger drops greater than 22 μm. Fe(III) was the main form of soluble Fe especially in the small and larger drops with concentrations ranging from 2.2 to 37.1 μg L−1. In contrast to other studies, Fe(II) was observed mainly in the evening hours, implying its presence was not directly related to photochemical processes. Aerosol–cloud interaction did not lead to a marked increase in soluble trace metal concentrations; rather it led to differences in the chemical composition of the aerosol due to preferential loss of aerosol particles through physical processes including cloud drop deposition to vegetative surfaces.