Insight into the formation of secondary inorganic aerosol based on high-time-resolution data during haze episodes and snowfall periods in Zhengzhou, China.


Research Institute of Environmental Science, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Episodic haze is frequently observed in Zhengzhou, China. Such haze typically contains secondary inorganic aerosols. In this paper, we explore the formation mechanisms of sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium (SNA) in Zhengzhou from January 3 to 25, 2018 based on the results of a series of online instruments and a size-segregated filter sampler. Our results document the remarkable contributions of SNA to winter haze episodes in Zhengzhou, where they account for about 50% of PM2.5 mass concentration. SNA were mainly concentrated in droplet-mode particles, which increased remarkably with the aggravation of the haze episode. In addition, KNO3 and NaNO3 were formed in droplet-mode particles and coarse-mode particles respectively with increasing PM2.5 concentration. The atmosphere during the observation period was ammonia-rich, and the aerosol was acidic under high PM2.5 concentration. Homogeneous reactions dominated the formation of nitrate. HONO photolysis played a more important role in the origin of OH radicals when O3 decreased during haze episode. Under high relative humidity (RH), nitrate formation was influenced by heterogeneous hydrolysis reactions of N2O5. Sulfates were mainly formed through aqueous-phase reactions, especially when the RH was higher than 60%. Under these conditions, there were amounts of liquid water content existed in aerosols. Finally, we observed enhanced conversion of SO2 and NO2 during snowfall periods. This effect may be attributable to the higher RH and O3 levels despite the unfavorable effects of wet deposition and low concentrations of gaseous precursors.


HONO,Haze,Secondary inorganic aerosols,Size distribution,Snowfall,

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