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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/amt-2016-381
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
29 Nov 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Measurement of ambient NO3 reactivity: Design, characterization and first deployment of a new instrument
Jonathan M. Liebmann, Gerhard Schuster, Jan B. Schuladen, Nicolas Sobanski, Jos Lelieveld, and John N. Crowley Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Abstract. We describe the first instrument for measurement of the rate constant (s−1) for reactive loss (i.e. the total reactivity) of NO3 in ambient air. Cavity-ring-down spectroscopy is used to monitor the mixing ratio of synthetically generated NO3 (≈ 30–50 pptv) after passing through a flow-tube reactor with variable residence time (generally 10.5 s). The change in concentration of NO3 upon modulation of the bath gas between zero-air and ambient air is used to derive its loss rate constant, which is then corrected for formation and decomposition of N2O5 via numerical simulation. The instrument is calibrated and characterized using known amounts of NO and NO2 and tested in the laboratory with an isoprene standard. The lowest reactivity that can be detected (defined by the stability of the NO3 source, instrumental parameters and NO2 mixing ratios) is 0.005 s−1. An automated dilution procedure enables measurement of NO3 reactivities up to 45 s−1, this upper limit being defined mainly by the dilution accuracy. The typical total uncertainty associated with the reactivity measurement at the centre of its dynamic range is 16 %, though this is dependent on ambient NO2 levels. Results from the first successful deployment of the instrument at a forested mountain site with urban influence are shown and future developments outlined.

Citation: Liebmann, J. M., Schuster, G., Schuladen, J. B., Sobanski, N., Lelieveld, J., and Crowley, J. N.: Measurement of ambient NO3 reactivity: Design, characterization and first deployment of a new instrument, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-381, in review, 2016.
Jonathan M. Liebmann et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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RC1: 'NO3 reactivity', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Dec 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
AC1: 'Reply to comments of Reviewer 1', John N. Crowley, 01 Mar 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
 
RC2: 'referee comment', Steven Brown, 05 Feb 2017 Printer-friendly Version 
AC2: 'Reply to comments of Reviewer Steven Brown', John N. Crowley, 01 Mar 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
Jonathan M. Liebmann et al.
Jonathan M. Liebmann et al.

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Short summary
We describe the first instrument for measurement of the rate constant for reactive loss (i.e. the total reactivity) of NO3 in ambient air. This is essentially a measureement of the lifetime of NO3 and will help assess the role of NO3 and N2O5 in conversion of reactive nitrogen oxides to reservoir species in the troposphere.
We describe the first instrument for measurement of the rate constant for reactive loss (i.e....
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