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Published September 13, 2022 | public
Journal Article

Impacts of condensable particulate matter on atmospheric organic aerosols and fine particulate matter (PM_(2.5)) in China


Condensable particulate matter (CPM) emitted from stationary combustion and mobile sources exhibits high emissions and a large proportion of organic components. However, CPM is not generally measured when conducting emission surveys of PM in most countries, including China. Consequently, previous emission inventories have not included emission rates for CPM. Here, we construct an emission inventory of CPM in China with a focus on organic aerosols (OAs) based on collected CPM emission information. Results show that OA emissions are enhanced twofold after the inclusion of CPM in a new inventory for China for the years 2014 and 2017. Considering organic CPM emissions and model representations of secondary OA (SOA) formation from CPM, a series of sensitivity cases have been simulated here using the three-dimensional Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to estimate the contributions of CPM emissions to atmospheric OA and fine PM (PM_(2.5), particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter not exceeding 2.5 µm) concentrations in China. Compared with observations at a Beijing site during a haze episode from 14 October to 14 November 2014, estimates of the temporal average primary OA (POA) and SOA concentrations were greatly improved after including the CPM effects. These scenarios demonstrated the significant contributions of CPM emissions from stationary combustion and mobile sources to the POA (51 %–85 %), SOA (42 %–58 %), and total OA concentrations (45 %–75 %). Furthermore, the contributions of CPM emissions to total OA concentrations were demonstrated over the 2 major cities and 26 other cities of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region (hereafter referred to as the "BTH2 + 26 cities") in December 2018, with average contributions of up to 49 %, 53 %, 54 %, and 50 % for Handan, Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, and Dezhou, respectively. Correspondingly, the inclusion of CPM emissions also narrowed the gap between simulated and observed PM_(2.5) concentrations over the BTH2 + 26 cities. These results improve the simulation performance of atmospheric OA and PM_(2.5) and may also provide important implications for the sources of OA.

Additional Information

The authors would like to thank the comprehensive data collection and sharing platform for atmospheric environmental science as well as the CERN Atmospheric Science Branch of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, for providing OC measurement data. This research has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 42175084, 21577126, 41561144004, and 92044302), the Department of Science and Technology of China (grant nos. 2018YFC0213506 and 2018YFC0213503), and the National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution Control in China (grant no. DQGG0107). Pengfei Li is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 22006030), the Science and Technology Program of Hebei Province (grant no. 22343702D), the Research Foundation of Education Bureau of Hebei (grant no. BJ2020032), and the Initiation Fund of Hebei Agricultural University (grant no. 412201904).

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023