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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-2019-285
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-285
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 02 Aug 2019

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

Quantification of nitrous acid (HONO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in ambient air by broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS) between 361–388 nm

Nick Jordan and Hans D. Osthoff Nick Jordan and Hans D. Osthoff
  • Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4

Abstract. This work describes a state-of-the-art, incoherent broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS) instrument for quantification of HONO and NO2 mixing ratios in ambient air. The instrument is operated in the near-ultraviolet spectral region between 361 and 388 nm. The mirror reflectivity and optical cavity transmission function were determined from the optical extinction observed when sampling air and helium. To verify the accuracy of this approach, Rayleigh scattering cross-sections of nitrogen and argon were measured and found in quantitative agreement with literature values. The mirror reflectivity exceeded 99.98 %, at its maximum near 373 nm, resulting in an absorption pathlength of 6 km from a 1 m long optical cavity. The instrument precision was assessed through Allan variance analyses and showed minimum deviations of ±58 pptv and ±210 pptv (1σ) for HONO and NO2, respectively, at an optimum acquisition time of 5 min. Measurements of HONO and NO2 mixing ratios in laboratory-generated mixtures by IBBCEAS were compared to thermal dissociation cavity ring-down spectroscopy (TD-CRDS) data and agreed within combined experimental uncertainties. Sample ambient air data collected in Calgary are presented.

Nick Jordan and Hans D. Osthoff
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Nick Jordan and Hans D. Osthoff
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Latest update: 19 Aug 2019
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Short summary
We describe a new spectrometer for quantification of HONO and NO2 in ambient air, called HODOR. The instrument uses an LED and two highly reflective mirrors to increase the effective optical absorption path to ~ 6 km. The accuracy of concentration retrievals was validated using parallel measurements by a single wavelength cavity ring-down spectrometer of laboratory generated gas mixtures. The instrument's precision suffices for quantification of HONO and NO2 in an urban environment.
We describe a new spectrometer for quantification of HONO and NO2 in ambient air, called HODOR....
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