State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Key Lab of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, 710061, China; Key Lab of Geophysical Information System of the Ministry of Education, School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 210041, China; Institute of Eco-Chongming, 3663 N. Zhongshan Rd., Shanghai, 200062, China. Electronic address: [Email]
This study reveals the impact of biomass burning (BB) on secondary organic aerosols (SOA) formation in the North China Plain (NCP). Filter samples were analyzed for secondary inorganic aerosols (SIA), oxalic acid (C2) and related aqueous-phase SOA compounds (aqSOA), stable carbon isotope composition of C2 (δ13C(C2)) and aerosol liquid water content (ALWC). Based on the PM2.5 loadings, BB tracer concentrations, wildfire spots and air-mass back trajectories, we distinguished two episodes from the whole campaign, Episode I and Episode II, which were characteristic of regional and local BB, respectively. The abundances of PM2.5 and organic matter in the two events were comparable, but concentrations and fractions of SIA, aqSOA during Episode I were much higher than those during Episode II, along with heavier δ13C(C2), suggesting an enhanced aqSOA formation in the earlier period. We found that the enhancement of aqSOA formation during Episode I was caused by an increased ALWC, which was mainly driven by SIA during the regional BB event. Our work showed that intensive burning of crop residue in East Asia can sharply enhance aqSOA production on a large scale, which may have a significant impact on the regional climate and human health.