Wintertime hygroscopic growth factors (HGFs) of accumulation mode particles and their linkage to chemical composition in a heavily polluted urban atmosphere of Kanpur at the Centre of IGP, India: Impact of ambient relative humidity.
This study reported results of the wintertime simultaneous measurements of hygroscopic growth factors (HGFs) and particle-phase chemical composition of accumulation mode particles using a self-assembled Hygroscopic Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer (H-TDMA) and an Aerodyne High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS), respectively at a heavily polluted urban atmosphere of Kanpur, situated in the center of IGP in India. HGFs at 85% relative humidity (RH) and the size-resolved composition of ambient aerosol particles (dry electrical mobility diameters of 100 and 150 nm) were investigated. HGF_85% was found to increase with particle size. The relative mass fraction of organic aerosol (OA) and NH4NO3 are probably the major contributors to the fluctuation of the HGF_85% for both particle sizes. The HGF_85% of accumulation mode particles were observed to increase from the minimum value observed during the morning until its maximum afternoon value. This study reported two maximum (early morning and afternoon time) and two minimum values (morning and evening time) of HGF_85%s. As a consequence, the main reasons for this incremental behavior were, increase in the ratio of inorganic to OA and oxidation level, f44 (m/z44/OA) of the OA within the particle phase. In context to the effect of ambient RH, this study reported two distinct variations of mean HGF_85% as the function of ambient RH. The positive linear relationship at low RH (LRH, RH ≤ 50%) was clearly associated with low OA loading, relatively higher substantial temperature, and wind speed. We also observed increment in f44, and effective density indicating aging of aerosol. However, HGF_85% was found to inversely decline as a function of RH at higher RH (HRH, RH > 50%) conditions, which clearly reflect the more significant contribution of primary OA and lower oxidation level of OA. Our results show the declining trend in size-resolved effective density at HRH conditions, confirming the above conclusions.