Study of formation of coarse particle nitrate aerosol
Abstract The results of analyses of six atmospheric aerosol samples collected in Helsinki, Finland, using a Berner low-pressure impactor, are reported. Formation of coarse particle nitrate was studied by evaluating various ion balances of the measured water-soluble ions (NH 4 + , Na + , K + , Mg 2+ , Ca 2+ , Cl − , NO 3 − and SO 4 2− ) and mass size distributions of Na + Ca 2+ , Cl − and NO − 3 . Atmospheric coarse particle NO − 3 was found to be formed in the reaction of nitric acid with sea- and soil-derived coarse particles. The fraction of nitrate found on sea and soil particles followed the measured concentrations and size distributions of these two particle types: the concentration ratio of soil to sea particles increased with increasing particle size as did the fraction of nitrate on soil particles. The reaction with sea-salt particles resulted in the evaporation of Cl − as HCI. The presence of non-sea-salt SO 4 2− indicates that also H 2 SO 4 and/or SO 2 reacted with sea salt and contributed to the Cl − loss. Overall, the percentage of evaporated Cl − decreased with increasing particle size, which suggests a surface reaction mechanism. Cl − evaporation was almost complete for the 1–2 um diameter size fraction indicating that all major sea-derived chlorides, NaCl, MgCl 2 , CaCl 2 and KCI, may react with acidic species in the atmosphere. The results showed further some indications of possible reaction of HCI with soil particles.
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