Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    Analysis of exceedances in the daily PM10 mass concentration (50 μg m−3) at a roadside station in Leipzig, Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Engler, C.; Birmili, W.; Spindler, G.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Five years of PM10 and PM2.5 ambient air measurements at a roadside, an urban, and a regional background site in Leipzig (Germany) were analyzed for violations of the legal PM10 limit value (EC, 1999). The annual mean PM10 concentrations at the three sites were well below the legal threshold of 40 μg m−3 (32.6, 22.0 and 21.7 μg m−3, respectively). At roadside, the daily maximum value of 50 μg m−3 was exceeded on 232 days (13% of all days) in 2005–2009, which led to a violation of the EC directive in three out of five years. We analysed the meteorological factors and local source contributions that eventually led to the exceedances of the daily limit value. As noted in other urban environments before, most exceedance days were observed in the cold season. Exceedance days were most probable under synoptic situations characterised by stagnant winds, low temperatures and strong temperature inversions in winter time. However, these extreme situations accounted for only less than half of the exeedance days. We also noticed a significant number of exceedance days that occurred in the cold season under south-westerly winds, and in the warm season in the presence of easterly winds. Our analysis suggests that local as well as regional sources of PM are equally responsible for exceedances days at the roadside site. The conclusion is that a combined effort of local, national and international reduction measures appears most likely to avoid systematic exceedances of the daily limit value in the future.