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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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    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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    ACTRIS ACSM intercomparison - Part 1: Reproducibility of concentration and fragment results from 13 individual Quadrupole Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitors (Q-ACSM) and consistency with co-located instruments
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Crenn, V.; Sciare, J.; Croteau, P.L.; Verlhac, S.; Fröhlich, R.; Belis, C.A.; Aas, W.; Äijälä, M.; Alastuey, A.; Artiñano, B.; Baisnée, D.; Bonnaire, N.; Bressi, M.; Canagaratna, M.; Canonaco, F.; Carbone, C.; Cavalli, F.; Coz, E.; Cubison, M.J.; Esser-Gietl, J.K.; Green, D.C.; Gros, V.; Heikkinen, L.; Herrmann, H.; Lunder, C.; Minguillón, M.C.; Močnik, G.; O'Dowd, C.D.; Ovadnevaite, J.; Petit, J.-E.; Petralia, E.; Poulain, L.; Priestman, M.; Riffault, V.; Ripoll, A.; Sarda-Estève, R.; Slowik, J.G.; Setyan, A.; Wiedensohler, A.; Baltensperger, U.; Prévôt, A.S.H.; Jayne, J.T.; Favez, O.
    As part of the European ACTRIS project, the first large Quadrupole Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (Q-ACSM) intercomparison study was conducted in the region of Paris for 3 weeks during the late-fall – early-winter period (November–December 2013). The first week was dedicated to the tuning and calibration of each instrument, whereas the second and third were dedicated to side-by-side comparison in ambient conditions with co-located instruments providing independent information on submicron aerosol optical, physical, and chemical properties. Near real-time measurements of the major chemical species (organic matter, sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, and chloride) in the non-refractory submicron aerosols (NR-PM1) were obtained here from 13 Q-ACSM. The results show that these instruments can produce highly comparable and robust measurements of the NR-PM1 total mass and its major components. Taking the median of the 13 Q-ACSM as a reference for this study, strong correlations (r2 > 0.9) were observed systematically for each individual Q-ACSM across all chemical families except for chloride for which three Q-ACSMs showing weak correlations partly due to the very low concentrations during the study. Reproducibility expanded uncertainties of Q-ACSM concentration measurements were determined using appropriate methodologies defined by the International Standard Organization (ISO 17025, 1999) and were found to be 9, 15, 19, 28, and 36 % for NR-PM1, nitrate, organic matter, sulfate, and ammonium, respectively. However, discrepancies were observed in the relative concentrations of the constituent mass fragments for each chemical component. In particular, significant differences were observed for the organic fragment at mass-to-charge ratio 44, which is a key parameter describing the oxidation state of organic aerosol. Following this first major intercomparison exercise of a large number of Q-ACSMs, detailed intercomparison results are presented, along with a discussion of some recommendations about best calibration practices, standardized data processing, and data treatment.
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    Relating particle hygroscopicity and CCN activity to chemical composition during the HCCT-2010 field campaign
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Wu, Z.J.; Poulain, L.; Henning, S.; Dieckmann, K.; Birmili, W.; Merkel, M.; van Pinxteren, D.; Spindler, G.; Müller, K.; Stratmann, F.; Herrmann, H.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Particle hygroscopic growth at 90% RH (relative humidity), cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity, and size-resolved chemical composition were concurrently measured in the Thüringer Wald mid-level mountain range in central Germany in the fall of 2010. The median hygroscopicity parameter values, κ, of 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, and 250 nm particles derived from hygroscopicity measurements are respectively 0.14, 0.14, 0.17, 0.21, 0.24, and 0.28 during the sampling period. The closure between HTDMA (Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzers)-measured (κHTDMA) and chemical composition-derived (κchem) hygroscopicity parameters was performed based on the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule. Using size-averaged chemical composition, the κ values are substantially overpredicted (30 and 40% for 150 and 100 nm particles). Introducing size-resolved chemical composition substantially improved closure. We found that the evaporation of NH4NO3, which may happen in a HTDMA system, could lead to a discrepancy in predicted and measured particle hygroscopic growth. The hygroscopic parameter of the organic fraction, κorg, is positively correlated with the O : C ratio (κorg = 0.19 × (O : C) − 0.03). Such correlation is helpful to define the κorg value in the closure study. κ derived from CCN measurement was around 30% (varied with particle diameters) higher than that determined from particle hygroscopic growth measurements (here, hydrophilic mode is considered only). This difference might be explained by the surface tension effects, solution non-ideality, gas-particle partitioning of semivolatile compounds, and the partial solubility of constituents or non-dissolved particle matter. Therefore, extrapolating from HTDMA data to properties at the point of activation should be done with great care. Finally, closure study between CCNc (cloud condensation nucleus counter)-measured (κCCN) and chemical composition (κCCN, chem) was performed using CCNc-derived κ values for individual components. The results show that the κCCN can be well predicted using particle size-resolved chemical composition and the ZSR mixing rule.
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    Kinetic measurements of the reactivity of hydrogen peroxide and ozone towards small atmospherically relevant aldehydes, ketones and organic acids in aqueous solutions
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Schöne, L.; Herrmann, H.
    Free radical reactions are an important degradation process for organic compounds within the aqueous atmospheric environment. Nevertheless, non-radical oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide and ozone also contribute to the degradation and conversion of these substances (Tilgner and Herrmann, 2010). In this work, kinetic investigations of non-radical reactions were conducted using UV / Vis spectroscopy (dual-beam spectrophotometer and stopped flow technique) and a capillary electrophoresis system applying pseudo-first order kinetics to reactions of glyoxal, methylglyoxal, glycolaldehyde, glyoxylic, pyruvic and glycolic acid as well as methacrolein (MACR) and methyl vinyl ketone (MVK) with H2O2 and ozone at 298 K. The measurements indicate rather small rate constants at room temperature of k2nd < 3 M−1 s−1 (except for the unsaturated compounds exposed to ozone). Compared to radical reaction rate constants the values are about 10 orders of magnitude smaller (kOH• ~109 M−1 s−1). However, when considering the much larger non-radical oxidant concentrations compared to radical concentrations in urban cloud droplets, calculated first-order conversion rate constants change the picture towards H2O2 reactions becoming more important, especially when compared to the nitrate radical. For some reactions mechanistic suggestions are also given.
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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.
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    Characterisation and optimisation of a sample preparation method for the detection and quantification of atmospherically relevant carbonyl compounds in aqueous medium
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Rodigast, M.; Mutzel, A.; Iinuma, Y.; Haferkorn, S.; Herrmann, H.
    Carbonyl compounds are ubiquitous in the atmosphere and either emitted primarily from anthropogenic and biogenic sources or they are produced secondarily from the oxidation of volatile organic compounds. Despite a number of studies about the quantification of carbonyl compounds a comprehensive description of optimised methods is scarce for the quantification of atmospherically relevant carbonyl compounds. The method optimisation was conducted for seven atmospherically relevant carbonyl compounds including acrolein, benzaldehyde, glyoxal, methyl glyoxal, methacrolein, methyl vinyl ketone and 2,3-butanedione. O-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzyl)hydroxylamine hydrochloride (PFBHA) was used as derivatisation reagent and the formed oximes were detected by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). With the present method quantification can be carried out for each carbonyl compound originating from fog, cloud and rain or sampled from the gas- and particle phase in water. Detection limits between 0.01 and 0.17 μmol L−1 were found, depending on carbonyl compounds. Furthermore, best results were found for the derivatisation with a PFBHA concentration of 0.43 mg mL−1 for 24 h followed by a subsequent extraction with dichloromethane for 30 min at pH = 1. The optimised method was evaluated in the present study by the OH radical initiated oxidation of 3-methylbutanone in the aqueous phase. Methyl glyoxal and 2,3-butanedione were found to be oxidation products in the samples with a yield of 2% for methyl glyoxal and 14% for 2,3-butanedione after a reaction time of 5 h.
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    The influence of clouds on radical concentrations: Observations and modelling studies of HOx during the Hill Cap Cloud Thuringia (HCCT) campaign in 2010
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Whalley, L.K.; Stone, D.; George, I.J.; Mertes, S.; van Pinxteren, D.; Tilgner, A.; Herrmann, H.; Evans, M.J.; Heard, D.E.
    The potential for chemistry occurring in cloud droplets to impact atmospheric composition has been known for some time. However, the lack of direct observations and uncertainty in the magnitude of these reactions led to this area being overlooked in most chemistry transport models. Here we present observations from Mt Schmücke, Germany, of the HO2 radical made alongside a suite of cloud measurements. HO2 concentrations were depleted in-cloud by up to 90% with the rate of heterogeneous loss of HO2 to clouds necessary to bring model and measurements into agreement, demonstrating a dependence on droplet surface area and pH. This provides the first observationally derived assessment for the uptake coefficient of HO2 to cloud droplets and was found to be in good agreement with theoretically derived parameterisations. Global model simulations, including this cloud uptake, showed impacts on the oxidising capacity of the troposphere that depended critically on whether the HO2 uptake leads to production of H2O2 or H2O.
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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.