Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-886
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-886
16 Apr 2024
 | 16 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

An investigation into atmospheric nitrous acid (HONO) processes in South Korea

Kiyeon Kim, Kyung Man Han, Chul Han Song, Hyojun Lee, Ross Beardsley, Jinhyeok Yu, Greg Yarwood, Bonyoung Koo, Jasper Madalipay, Jung-Hun Woo, and Seogju Cho

Abstract. Nitrous acid (HONO) is a main precursor of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which contribute to the formation of numerous secondary air pollutants in the troposphere. Despite its importance in atmospheric chemistry, HONO chemistry has not been fully incorporated into many chemical transport models (CTMs). Due to the lack of atmospheric HONO processes, CTM simulations often tend to underestimate atmospheric mixing ratios of HONO. This study was undertaken because simulations with current Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model have a strong tendency to underestimate the HONO mixing ratio. In search of missing sources of atmospheric HONO, we attempted to sequentially incorporate the following potential HONO sources and processes into the CMAQ modeling framework: (i) gas-phase HONO reactions; (ii) traffic HONO emissions; (iii) soil HONO emissions; (iv) heterogeneous HONO production on the surfaces of aerosols; (v) heterogeneous HONO formation on tree leaf and building surfaces; (vi) photolysis reactions of particulates and deposited HNO3/nitrates called ‘renoxification’. The simulation performances of the modified CMAQ models were then evaluated by comparing the modeled HONO mixing ratios with the HONO mixing ratios observed at the Olympic Park station in Seoul, South Korea. When HONO processes were fully added to the CMAQ model, average daily HONO mixing ratios increased from 0.06 ppb to 1.18 ppb. The daytime HONO mixing ratios produced from the CMAQ model run with a full account of atmospheric HONO processes were found to be in better agreement with observations than those from the original CMAQ model (CMAQv5.2.1) runs with improved statistical metrics (e.g., IOA increased from 0.59 to 0.68, while MB decreased dramatically from -0.57 ppb to -0.34 ppb). In addition, we investigated the contributions of individual atmospheric HONO processes to HONO mixing ratios, as well as the impacts of HONO atmospheric processes on the concentrations of other atmospheric species in South Korea. All these issues are also discussed in this manuscript.

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Kiyeon Kim, Kyung Man Han, Chul Han Song, Hyojun Lee, Ross Beardsley, Jinhyeok Yu, Greg Yarwood, Bonyoung Koo, Jasper Madalipay, Jung-Hun Woo, and Seogju Cho

Status: open (until 13 Jun 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-886', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 May 2024 reply
Kiyeon Kim, Kyung Man Han, Chul Han Song, Hyojun Lee, Ross Beardsley, Jinhyeok Yu, Greg Yarwood, Bonyoung Koo, Jasper Madalipay, Jung-Hun Woo, and Seogju Cho
Kiyeon Kim, Kyung Man Han, Chul Han Song, Hyojun Lee, Ross Beardsley, Jinhyeok Yu, Greg Yarwood, Bonyoung Koo, Jasper Madalipay, Jung-Hun Woo, and Seogju Cho

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Short summary
We incoporated each HONO process into the current CMAQ modeling framework to enhance the accuracy of HONO mixing ratios predictions. These results expand our understanding of HONO photochemistry and identify crucial sources of HONO that impact the total HONO budget in Seoul, South Korea. Through this investigation, we contribute to resolving discrepancies in understading chemical transport models, with implications for better air quality mangement and environmental protection in the region.