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Characterization of the light-Absorbing properties, chromophore composition and sources of brown carbon aerosol in Xi'an, northwestern China
Yuan, Wei1,2; Huang, Ru Jin1,3; Yang, Lu1; Guo, Jie1; Chen, Ziyi4; Duan, Jing1,2; Wang, Ting1,2; Ni, Haiyan1; Han, Yongming1; Li, Yongjie5; Chen, Qi6; Chen, Yang7; Hoffmann, Thorsten8; O'Dowd, Colin9
Source PublicationAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics

The impact of brown carbon aerosol (BrC) on the Earth's radiative forcing balance has been widely recognized but remains uncertain, mainly because the relationships among BrC sources, chromophores and optical properties of aerosol are poorly understood. In this work, the light absorption properties and chromophore composition of BrC were investigated for samples collected in Xi'an, northwestern China, from 2015 to 2016. Both absorption Ångström exponent (AAE) and mass absorption efficiency (MAE) show distinct seasonal differences, which could be attributed to the differences in sources and chromophore composition of BrC. Three groups of light-Absorbing organics were found to be important BrC chromophores, including compounds that have multiple absorption peaks at wavelengths > 350 nm (12 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their derivatives) and compounds that have a single absorption peak at wavelengths < 350 nm (10 nitrophenols and nitrosalicylic acids and 3 methoxyphenols). These measured BrC chromophores show distinct seasonal differences and contribute on average about 1.1 % and 3.3 % of light absorption of methanol-soluble BrC at 365 nm in summer and winter, respectively, about 7 and 5 times higher than the corresponding carbon mass fractions in total organic carbon. The sources of BrC were resolved by positive matrix factorization (PMF) using these chromophores instead of commonly used non-light-Absorbing organic markers as model inputs. Our results show that vehicular emissions and secondary formation are major sources of BrC (ĝˆ1/4 70 %) in spring, coal combustion and vehicular emissions are major sources (ĝˆ1/4 70 %) in fall, biomass burning and coal combustion become major sources (ĝˆ1/4 80 %) in winter, and secondary BrC dominates (ĝˆ1/4 60 %) in summer.


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Indexed BySCIE
WOS Research AreaEnvironmental Sciences & Ecology ; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
WOS SubjectEnvironmental Sciences ; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
WOS IDWOS:000531565400003
Scopus ID2-s2.0-85084637552
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Document TypeJournal article
Corresponding AuthorHuang, Ru Jin
Affiliation1.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Institute of Earth Environment, Xi'an, 710061, China
2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
3.Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi'An Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710049, China
4.Royal School of Mines, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London, London, Exhibition Road, SW7 3RW, United Kingdom
5.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Macau, Taipa, 999078, Macao
6.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China
7.Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing, 400714, China
8.Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Duesbergweg 10-14, 55128, Germany
9.School of Physics and Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, University Road, H91CF50, Ireland
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Yuan, Wei,Huang, Ru Jin,Yang, Lu,et al. Characterization of the light-Absorbing properties, chromophore composition and sources of brown carbon aerosol in Xi'an, northwestern China[J]. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics,2020,20(8):5129-5144.
APA Yuan, Wei,Huang, Ru Jin,Yang, Lu,Guo, Jie,Chen, Ziyi,Duan, Jing,Wang, Ting,Ni, Haiyan,Han, Yongming,Li, Yongjie,Chen, Qi,Chen, Yang,Hoffmann, Thorsten,&O'Dowd, Colin.(2020).Characterization of the light-Absorbing properties, chromophore composition and sources of brown carbon aerosol in Xi'an, northwestern China.Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics,20(8),5129-5144.
MLA Yuan, Wei,et al."Characterization of the light-Absorbing properties, chromophore composition and sources of brown carbon aerosol in Xi'an, northwestern China".Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 20.8(2020):5129-5144.
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