Fast heterogeneous loss of N2O5 leads to significant nighttime NOx removal and nitrate aerosol formation at a coastal background environment of southern China.


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Nitrate radical (NO3) and dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) play crucial roles in the nocturnal atmosphere. To quantify their impacts, we deployed a thermal-dissociation chemical ionization mass spectrometry (TD-CIMS), to measure their concentration, as well as ClNO2 at a coastal background site in the southern of China during the late autumn of 2012. Moderate levels of NO3, N2O5 and high concentration of ClNO2 were observed during the study period, indicating active NOx-O3 chemistry in the region. Distinct features of NO3, N2O5 and ClNO2 mixing ratios were observed in different airmasses. Further analysis revealed that the N2O5 heterogeneous reaction was the dominant loss of N2O5 and NO3, which showed higher loss rate compared to that in other coastal sites. Especially, the N2O5 loss rates could reach up to 0.0139 s-1 when airmasses went across the sea. The fast heterogeneous loss of N2O5 led to rapid NOx loss which could be comparable to the daytime process through NO2 oxidization by OH, and on the other hand, to rapid nitrate aerosol formation. In summary, our results revealed that the N2O5 hydrolysis could play significant roles in regulating the air quality by reducing NOx but forming nitrate aerosols.


Dinitrogen pentoxide,N(2)O(5) heterogeneous reaction,NO(x) removal,Nitrate aerosols,TD-CIMS,