Since the start of this century, air pollution has become increasingly regional and more complex. Recent research has indicated that the cooperative transition of SO2 and NOx into secondary aerosols (sulfate and nitrate) played a critical role in the haze pollution episode in China in January 2013.
This shows a) particle number size distributions and b) fractional contributions of organics, nitrate, sulfate, ammonium, and chloride to the PM1 mass during the haze episode from 06:00 to 15:00 LT, Jan. 12, 2013.
Credit: ©Science China Press
The coexistence of high concentrations of primary and secondary gaseous and particulate pollutants results in numerous heterogeneous reactions occurring on the surfaces of fine particles. These reactions change the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere, chemical compositions, and the physicochemical and optical properties of the particulate matter. The overall effect is that air pollution and haze formation is accelerated.
It is, therefore, important to explore the formation mechanisms of secondary aerosols during air pollution episodes. The paper, "Mechanism for the formation of the January 2013 heavy haze pollution episode over central and eastern China", Science China: Earth Sciences, No. 1, 2014, by Professor Wang and co-workers shows that the formation of secondary sulfate aerosols from SO2 increases in the presence of NOx.
This study explores the cooperative transition of SO2 and NOx into secondary aerosols on the surfaces of carbon-containing particles through heterogeneous reactions. The formation of sulfates from SO2 is promoted by the existence of NOx. Results show that as the particle size increases, the fractional contributions of secondary inorganic ions, such as sulfate and nitrate, also increase (Figure 1). The hygroscopicity of the particles increase and the increased water content can accelerate the gas–liquid–solid reactions of SO2 and NOx, which further increases the hygroscopicity of the particles. These processes form a positive feedback mechanism that enhances the conversion of primary gas pollutants into secondary aerosols. Consequently, it is important to reduce emissions of the precursor gases of PM2.5 to reduce the overall PM2.5 concentrations in the atmosphere. The authors conclude that in central and eastern China, SO2 and NOx should be controlled synchronously to reduce PM2.5 concentrations.
Corresponding author:LIU Zirui
Science China Press Co., Ltd. (SCP) is a scientific journal publishing company of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). For 60 years, SCP takes its mission to present to the world the best achievements by Chinese scientists on various fields of natural sciences researches.
YAN Bei | EurekAlert!
Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West
23.10.2017 | University of Washington
Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine