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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Mar 2019

Research article | 05 Mar 2019

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

An IBBCEAS system for atmospheric measurements of glyoxal and methylglyoxal in the presence of high NO2 concentrations

Jingwei Liu1, Xin Li1,2, Yiming Yang1, Haichao Wang1, Yusheng Wu1,a, Mindong Chen2, Jianlin Hu2, Xiaobo Fan3, Limin Zeng1, and Yuanhang Zhang1 Jingwei Liu et al.
  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China P. R.
  • 2Collaborative Innovation Centre of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China P. R.
  • 3Quadrant Space (Tianjin) Technology Co., LTD, Tianjin, 301700, China P.R.
  • anow at: Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00014, Finland

Abstract. A system based on incoherent broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS) has been developed for simultaneous measurement of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), glyoxal (GLY) and methylglyoxal (MGLY). On this system, the absorption of light around 460 nm is spectrally resolved. The concentration of absorbers is determined from a multi-component fit. At an integration time of 100 s, the measurement sensitivity (2σ) for NO2, GLY, and MGLY can reach 18 ppt, 30 ppt, and 100 ppt, respectively. The measurement uncertainty which mainly originates from path length calibration, sampling loss, and uncertainty of absorption cross sections is estimated to be 8 % for NO2, 8 % for GLY, and 16 % for MGLY. When applying the instrument during field observations, we found significant influence of NO2 on spectra fitting for retrieving GLY and MGLY concentration, which is caused by the fact that NO2 has higher absorption cross section and higher ambient concentration. In order to minimize such an effect, a NO2 photolytic convertor (NPC) which removes sampled NO2 at an efficiency of 76 % was integrated on the IBBCEAS system. Since sampled GLY and MGLY are mostly conserved (≥ 95 %) after passing through the NPC, the quality of the spectra fitting and the measurement accuracy of ambient GLY and MGLY were largely improved.

Jingwei Liu et al.
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Jingwei Liu et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Incoherent broad band cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS) has been proved to be a reliable method for measuring glyoxal and methylglyoxal in the atmosphere. However, the commonly overlaying strong spectral absorption of nitrogen dioxide hampers the accurate and sensitive resolve of the weak absorption features of glyoxal and methylglyoxal. Here, we report a custom-built IBBCEAS system which could overcome this problem by quantitively removing nitrogen dioxide from the sample air.
Incoherent broad band cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS) has been proved to be a...