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!
How much biomass grows in the savannah?
16.02.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, UCI study shows
15.02.2017 | University of California - Irvine
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine