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    Identification and source attribution of organic compounds in ultrafine particles near Frankfurt International Airport
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : European Geosciences Union, 2021) Ungeheuer, Florian; van Pinxteren, Dominik; Vogel, Alexander L.
    Analysing the composition of ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs) is a challenging task due to the low mass and chemical complexity of small particles, yet it is a prerequisite for the identification of particle sources and the assessment of potential health risks. Here, we show the molecular characterization of UFPs, based on cascade impactor (Nano-MOUDI) samples that were collected at an air quality monitoring station near one of Europe's largest airports, in Frankfurt, Germany. At this station, particle-size-distribution measurements show an enhanced number concentration of particles smaller than 50 nm during airport operating hours. We sampled the lower UFP fraction (0.010-0.018, 0.018-0.032, 0.032-0.056 classCombining double low lineinline-formula/m) when the air masses arrived from the airport. We developed an optimized filter extraction procedure using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) for compound separation and a heated electrospray ionization (HESI) source with an Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRMS) as a detector for organic compounds. A non-Target screening detected classCombining double low lineinline-formulag1/4200/ organic compounds in the UFP fraction with sample-To-blank ratios larger than 5. We identified the largest signals as homologous series of pentaerythritol esters (PEEs) and trimethylolpropane esters (TMPEs), which are base stocks of aircraft lubrication oils. We unambiguously attribute the majority of detected compounds to jet engine lubrication oils by matching retention times, high-resolution and accurate mass measurements, and comparing tandem mass spectrometry (MS classCombining double low lineinline-formula2/) fragmentation patterns between both ambient samples and commercially available jet oils. For each UFP stage, we created molecular fingerprints to visualize the complex chemical composition of the organic fraction and their average carbon oxidation state. These graphs underline the presence of the homologous series of PEEs and TMPEs and the appearance of jet oil additives (e.g.Tricresyl phosphate, TCP). Targeted screening of TCP confirmed the absence of the harmful tri-iortho/i isomer, while we identified a thermal transformation product of TMPE-based lubrication oil (trimethylolpropane phosphate, TMP-P). Even though a quantitative determination of the identified compounds is limited, the presented method enables the qualitative detection of molecular markers for jet engine lubricants in UFPs and thus strongly improves the source apportionment of UFPs near airports./p. © 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
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    Particle hygroscopicity and its link to chemical composition in the urban atmosphere of Beijing, China, during summertime
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Wu, Z.J.; Zheng, J.; Shang, D.J.; Du, Z.F.; Wu, Y.S.; Zeng, L.M.; Wiedensohler, A.; Hu, M.
    Simultaneous measurements of particle number size distribution, particle hygroscopic properties, and size-resolved chemical composition were made during the summer of 2014 in Beijing, China. During the measurement period, the mean hygroscopicity parameters (κs) of 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 nm particles were respectively 0.16  ±  0.07, 0.19  ±  0.06, 0.22  ±  0.06, 0.26  ±  0.07, and 0.28  ±  0.10, showing an increasing trend with increasing particle size. Such size dependency of particle hygroscopicity was similar to that of the inorganic mass fraction in PM1. The hydrophilic mode (hygroscopic growth factor, HGF  >  1.2) was more prominent in growth factor probability density distributions and its dominance of hydrophilic mode became more pronounced with increasing particle size. When PM2.5 mass concentration was greater than 50 μg m−3, the fractions of the hydrophilic mode for 150, 250, and 350 nm particles increased towards 1 as PM2.5 mass concentration increased. This indicates that aged particles dominated during severe pollution periods in the atmosphere of Beijing. Particle hygroscopic growth can be well predicted using high-time-resolution size-resolved chemical composition derived from aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements using the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule. The organic hygroscopicity parameter (κorg) showed a positive correlation with the oxygen to carbon ratio. During the new particle formation event associated with strongly active photochemistry, the hygroscopic growth factor or κ of newly formed particles is greater than for particles with the same sizes not during new particle formation (NPF) periods. A quick transformation from external mixture to internal mixture for pre-existing particles (for example, 250 nm particles) was observed. Such transformations may modify the state of the mixture of pre-existing particles and thus modify properties such as the light absorption coefficient and cloud condensation nuclei activation.
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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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    Ice-nucleating particle concentrations unaffected by urban air pollution in Beijing, China
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2018) Chen, Jie; Wu, Zhijun; Augustin-Bauditz, Stefanie; Grawe, Sarah; Hartmann, Markus; Pei, Xiangyu; Liu, Zirui; Ji, Dongsheng; Wex, Heike
    Exceedingly high levels of PM2.5 with complex chemical composition occur frequently in China. It has been speculated whether anthropogenic PM2.5 may significantly contribute to ice-nucleating particles (INP). However, few studies have focused on the ice-nucleating properties of urban particles. In this work, two ice-nucleating droplet arrays have been used to determine the atmospheric number concentration of INP (NINP) in the range from -6 to -25 °C in Beijing. No correlations between NINP and either PM2.5 or black carbon mass concentrations were found, although both varied by more than a factor of 30 during the sampling period. Similarly, there were no correlations between NINP and either total particle number concentration or number concentrations for particles with diameters > 500 nm. Furthermore, there was no clear difference between day and night samples. All these results indicate that Beijing air pollution did not increase or decrease INP concentrations in the examined temperature range above values observed in nonurban areas; hence, the background INP concentrations might not be anthropogenically influenced as far as urban air pollution is concerned, at least in the examined temperature range.
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    Chemical composition and droplet size distribution of cloud at the summit of Mount Tai, China
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2017) Li, Jiarong; Wang, Xinfeng; Chen, Jianmin; Zhu, Chao; Li, Weijun; Li, Chengbao; Liu, Lu; Xu, Caihong; Wen, Liang; Xue, Likun; Wang, Wenxing; Ding, Aijun; Herrmann, Hartmut
    The chemical composition of 39 cloud samples and droplet size distributions in 24 cloud events were investigated at the summit of Mt. Tai from July to October 2014. Inorganic ions, organic acids, metals, HCHO, H2O2, sulfur( IV), organic carbon, and elemental carbon as well as pH and electrical conductivity were analyzed. The acidity of the cloud water significantly decreased from a reported value of pH 3.86 during 2007-2008 (Guo et al., 2012) to pH 5.87 in the present study. The concentrations of nitrate and ammonium were both increased since 2007-2008, but the overcompensation of ammonium led to an increase in the mean pH value. The microphysical properties showed that cloud droplets were smaller than 26.0 μm and most were in the range of 6.0-9.0 μm at Mt. Tai. The maximum droplet number concentration (Nd) was associated with a droplet size of 7.0 μm. High liquid water content (LWC) values could facilitate the formation of larger cloud droplets and broadened the droplet size distribution. Cloud droplets exhibited a strong interaction with atmospheric aerosols. Higher PM2.5 levels resulted in higher concentrations of water-soluble ions and smaller sizes with increased numbers of cloud droplets. The lower pH values were likely to occur at higher PM2.5 concentrations. Clouds were an important sink for soluble materials in the atmosphere. The dilution effect of cloud water should be considered when estimating concentrations of soluble components in the cloud phase.
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    Effect of varying experimental conditions on the viscosity of α-pinene derived secondary organic material
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Grayson, James W.; Zhang, Yue; Mutzel, Anke; Renbaum-Wolff, Lindsay; Böge, Olaf; Kamal, Saeid; Herrmann, Hartmut; Martin, Scot T.; Bertram, Allan K.
    Knowledge of the viscosity of particles containing secondary organic material (SOM) is useful for predicting reaction rates and diffusion in SOM particles. In this study we investigate the viscosity of SOM particles as a function of relative humidity and SOM particle mass concentration, during SOM synthesis. The SOM was generated via the ozonolysis of α-pinene at < 5 % relative humidity (RH). Experiments were carried out using the poke-and-flow technique, which measures the experimental flow time (τexp, flow) of SOM after poking the material with a needle. In the first set of experiments, we show that τexp, flow increased by a factor of 3600 as the RH increased from < 0.5 RH to 50 % RH, for SOM with a production mass concentration of 121 µg m−3. Based on simulations, the viscosities of the particles were between 6  ×  105 and 5  ×  107 Pa s at < 0.5 % RH and between 3  ×  102 and 9  ×  103 Pa s at 50 % RH. In the second set of experiments we show that under dry conditions τexp, flow decreased by a factor of 45 as the production mass concentration increased from 121 to 14 000 µg m−3. From simulations of the poke-and-flow experiments, the viscosity of SOM with a production mass concentration of 14 000 µg m−3 was determined to be between 4  ×  104 and 1.5  ×  106 Pa s compared to between 6  ×  105 and 5  ×  107 Pa s for SOM with a production mass concentration of 121 µg m−3. The results can be rationalized by a dependence of the chemical composition of SOM on production conditions. These results emphasize the shifting characteristics of SOM, not just with RH and precursor type, but also with the production conditions, and suggest that production mass concentration and the RH at which the viscosity was determined should be considered both when comparing laboratory results and when extrapolating these results to the atmosphere.