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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-256
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-256
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Jul 2019

Research article | 09 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Evaluating the measurement interference of wet rotating denuder-IC in measuring atmospheric HONO in highly polluted area

Zheng Xu1,2, Yuliang Liu1,2, Wei Nie1,2, Peng Sun1,2, Xuguang Chi1,2, and Aijun Ding1,2 Zheng Xu et al.
  • 1Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences & School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
  • 2Collaborative Innovation Center of Climate Change, Jiangsu Province, China

Abstract. Due to the important contribution of nitrous acid (HONO) to OH radicals in the atmosphere, various technologies have been developed to measure HONO. Among them, wet denuder/ion chromatography (WD/IC) is a widely used measurement method. Here, we found interferences with HONO measurements by WD/IC based on a comparison study of concurrent observations of HONO concentrations using a WD/IC instrument (Monitorfor AeRosols and Gases in ambient Air, MARGA) and long-path absorption photometer (LOPAP) at the Station for Observing Regional Processes of the Earth System (SORPES) in eastern China. The measurement deviation of the HONO concentration by the MARGA instrument, as a typical instrument of WD/IC, is affected by two factors. One is the change in denuder pH influenced by acidic and alkaline gases in the ambient atmosphere, which can affect the absorption efficiency of HONO by the wet denuder to underestimate the HONO concentration up to 200 % in lowest pH. The other is the reaction of NO2 oxidizing SO2 to form HONO in the denuder solution to overestimate the HONO concentration, which can be improved up to 400 % in denuder solutions with highest pH values due to ambient NH3. These processes are in particulate important in polluted east China, where is suffered from the high concentrations of SO2, NH3 and NO2. The overestimation induced by the reaction of NO2 and SO2 is expected to be growing important with the potentially increased denuder pH due to the decrease of SO2. We further established a method to correct the HONO data measured by a WD/IC instrument such as the MARGA. In case a large amount WD/IC techniques based instruments are deployed with the main target to monitor the water soluble composition of PM2.5, our study can help to obtain a long-term multi-sites database of HONO to assess the role of HONO in atmospheric chemistry and air pollution in east China.

Zheng Xu et al.
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Short summary
Wet denuder/ion chromatography technique is widely used in measuring atmospheric HONO, but suffering from measurement interference. In this study, we evaluated the performance of a WD/IC system in polluted East China, and identified the main sources of interferences. We established a method to correct the HONO measurement by a WD/IC instrument such as the MARGA. Our study can help to improve the quality of long-term HONO database obtained by WD/IC.
Wet denuder/ion chromatography technique is widely used in measuring atmospheric HONO, but...
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