Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1848
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1848
26 Jun 2024
 | 26 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Brown carbon aerosol in rural Germany: sources, chemistry, and diurnal variations

Feng Jiang, Harald Saathoff, Junwei Song, Hengheng Zhang, Linyu Gao, and Thomas Leisner

Abstract. Brown carbon aerosol (BrC) is one major contributor to atmospheric air pollution in Europe, especially in winter. Therefore, we studied the chemical composition, diurnal variation, and sources of BrC from 17th February to 16th March at a rural location in southwest Germany. In total, 178 potential BrC molecules (including 7 nitro aromatic compounds, NACs) were identified in the particle phase comprising on average 63 ± 32 ng m−3, and 31 potential BrC (including 4 NACs) molecules were identified in the gas phase contributing on average 6.2 ± 5.0 ng m−3 during the whole campaign. The 178 potential BrC molecules only accounted for 2.3 ± 1.5 % of the total organic mass, but can explain 11 ± 11 % of the total BrC absorption at 370 nm, assuming an average mass absorption coefficient at 370 nm (MAC370) of 9.5 m2 g−1. A few BrC molecules dominated the total BrC absorption. In addition, diurnal variations show that gas phase BrC was higher at daytime and lower at night. It was mainly controlled by secondary formation (e.g. photooxidation) and particle-to-gas partitioning. Correspondingly, the particle phase BrC was lower at daytime and higher at nighttime. Secondary formation dominates the particle-phase BrC with 61 ± 21 %, while 39 ± 21 % originated from biomass burning. Furthermore, the particle-phase BrC showed decreasing light absorption due to photochemical aging. This study extends the current understanding of real-time behaviors of brown carbon aerosol in the gas and particle phase at a location characteristic for the central Europe. 

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Feng Jiang, Harald Saathoff, Junwei Song, Hengheng Zhang, Linyu Gao, and Thomas Leisner

Status: open (until 07 Aug 2024)

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Feng Jiang, Harald Saathoff, Junwei Song, Hengheng Zhang, Linyu Gao, and Thomas Leisner
Feng Jiang, Harald Saathoff, Junwei Song, Hengheng Zhang, Linyu Gao, and Thomas Leisner

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Short summary
The chemical composition of brown carbon in the particle and gas phase were determined by mass spectrometry. BrC in the gas phase was mainly controlled by secondary formation and particle-to-gas partitioning. BrC in the particle phase was mainly from secondary formation. This work helps to get a better understanding of diurnal variations and the sources of brown carbon aerosol at rural location in central Europe.