Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2698
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2698
06 Dec 2023
 | 06 Dec 2023

Daytime and nighttime aerosol soluble iron formation in clean and slightly-polluted moisture air in a coastal city in eastern China

Wenshuai Li, Yuxuan Qi, Yingchen Liu, Guanru Wu, Yanjing Zhang, Jinhui Shi, Wenjun Qu, Lifang Sheng, Wencai Wang, Daizhou Zhang, and Yang Zhou

Abstract. Photocatalysis reactions occurring during daytime and aqueous-phase reactions during both daytime and nighttime constitute the two primary processes responsible for converting aerosol iron (Fe) from insoluble to soluble forms within the atmosphere. This study investigated the composition of total Fe (FeT) and soluble Fe (FeS) in daytime and nighttime PM2.5 in Qingdao, a coastal city in eastern China, and evaluated the distinctive roles of the two pathways in enhancing the solubility of aerosol Fe (%FeS, the ratio of FeS to FeT). In clean and humid conditions characterized by sea breezes, with relative humidity (RH) prevalently exceeding 80 %, an average daytime %FeS of 8.7 % was observed, which systematically surpassed its nighttime %FeS (6.3 %). In contrast, when the air originated from land regions and was slightly polluted, the daytime %FeS (3.7 %) was noted to be lower than the nighttime %FeS (5.8 %). This discrepancy was attributable to the variations in RH, as the nighttime RH approximated to be 77 %, facilitating the more efficient formation of acidic substances and resulting in faster FeS production than during daytime, when RH was about 62 %. Furthermore, the oxidation rates of sulfur (SOR) and nitrogen (NOR) displayed strong correlations with RH, particularly when RH was below 75 %. A 10 % increase in RH resulted in a 7.6 % increase in SOR and a 7.2 % elevation in NOR, which served as the primary reason for the differences in aerosol acidity and %FeS between daytime and nighttime. These findings highlight the RH-dependent activation of aqueous-phase reactions and the augmentation of daytime photocatalysis in the formation of FeS in the coastal moisture atmosphere.

Wenshuai Li, Yuxuan Qi, Yingchen Liu, Guanru Wu, Yanjing Zhang, Jinhui Shi, Wenjun Qu, Lifang Sheng, Wencai Wang, Daizhou Zhang, and Yang Zhou

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2698', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2698', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 Jan 2024
Wenshuai Li, Yuxuan Qi, Yingchen Liu, Guanru Wu, Yanjing Zhang, Jinhui Shi, Wenjun Qu, Lifang Sheng, Wencai Wang, Daizhou Zhang, and Yang Zhou
Wenshuai Li, Yuxuan Qi, Yingchen Liu, Guanru Wu, Yanjing Zhang, Jinhui Shi, Wenjun Qu, Lifang Sheng, Wencai Wang, Daizhou Zhang, and Yang Zhou

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Short summary
Aerosol particles from mainland can transport to oceans and deposit, providing soluble Fe and affecting phytoplankton growth. Thus, we studied the dissolution process of aerosol Fe and found that photochemistry played a key role in promoting Fe dissolution in clean conditions. RH-dependent reactions were more influential in slightly-polluted conditions. These results highlight the distinct roles of two weather-related parameters (radiation and RH) in influencing geochemical cycles related to Fe.