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    Hydroxymethanesulfonic acid in size-segregated aerosol particles at nine sites in Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Scheinhardt, S.; van Pinxteren, D.; Müller, K.; Spindler, G.; Herrmann, H.
    In the course of two field campaigns, size-segregated particle samples were collected at nine sites in Germany, including traffic, urban, rural, marine and mountain sites. During the chemical characterisation of the samples some of them were found to contain an unknown substance that was later identified as hydroxymethanesulfonic acid (HMSA). HMSA is known to be formed during the reaction of S(IV) (HSO3− or SO32−) with formaldehyde in the aqueous phase. Due to its stability, HMSA can act as a reservoir species for S(IV) in the atmosphere and is therefore of interest for the understanding of atmospheric sulfur chemistry. However, no HMSA data are available for atmospheric particles from central Europe, and even on a worldwide scale data are scarce. Thus, the present study now provides a representative data set with detailed information on HMSA concentrations in size-segregated central European aerosol particles. HMSA mass concentrations in this data set were highly variable: HMSA was found in 224 out of 738 samples (30%), sometimes in high mass concentrations exceeding those of oxalic acid. On average over all 154 impactor runs, 31.5 ng m−3 HMSA was found in PM10, contributing 0.21% to the total mass. The results show that the particle diameter, the sampling location, the sampling season and the air mass origin impact the HMSA mass concentration. Highest concentrations were found in the particle fraction 0.42–1.2 μm, at urban sites, in winter and with eastern (continental) air masses, respectively. The results suggest that HMSA is formed during aging of pollution plumes. A positive correlation of HMSA with sulfate, oxalate and PM is found (R2 > 0.4). The results furthermore suggest that the fraction of HMSA in PM slightly decreases with increasing pH.
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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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    Diurnal variations of ambient particulate wood burning emissions and their contribution to the concentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Seiffen, Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Poulain, L.; Iinuma, Y.; Müller, K.; Birmili, W.; Weinhold, K.; Brüggemann, E.; Gnauk, T.; Hausmann, A.; Löschau, G.; Wiedensohler, A.; Herrmann, H.
    Residential wood burning is becoming an increasingly important cause of air quality problems since it has become a popular source of alternative energy to fossil fuel. In order to characterize the contribution of residential wood burning to local particle pollution, a field campaign was organized at the village of Seiffen (Saxony, Germany). During this campaign, an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) was deployed in parallel to a PM1 high volume filter sampler. The AMS mass spectra were analyzed using Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) to obtain detailed information about the organic aerosol (OA). Biomass-burning organic aerosol (BBOA), Hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA), and Oxygenated Organic Aerosol (OOA) were identified and represented 20%, 17% and 62% of total OA, respectively. Additionally, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) were measured by the AMS with an average concentration of 10 ng m−3 and short term events of extremely high PAH concentration (up to 500 ng m−3) compared to the mean PAH value were observed during the whole measurement period. A comparison with the results from PM1 filter samples showed that the BBOA factor and the AMS PAH are good indicators of the total concentration of the different monosaccharide anhydrides and PAH measured on the filter samples. Based on its low correlation with CO and the low car traffic, the HOA factor was considered to be related to residential heating using liquid fuel. An influence of the time of the week (week vs. weekend) on the diurnal profiles of the different OA components was observed. The weekdays were characterized by two maxima; a first one early in the morning and a stronger one in the evening. During the weekend days, the different OA components principally reached only one maximum in the afternoon. Finally, the PAH emitted directly from residential wood combustion was estimated to represent 1.5% of the total mass of the BBOA factor and around 62% of the total PAH concentration measured at Seiffen. This result highlights the important contribution of residential wood combustion to air quality and PAH emissions at the sampling place, which might have a significant impact on human health. Moreover, it also emphasizes the need for a better time resolution of the chemical characterization of toxic particulate compounds in order to provide more information on variations of the different sources through the days as well as to better estimate the real human exposure.