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Absorption enhancement of black carbon particles in a Mediterranean city and countryside : effect of particulate matter chemistry, ageing and trend analysis
Jesús Yus-Díez, Marta Via, Andrés Alastuey, Angeliki Karanasiou, Maria Cruz Minguillon, Noemí Perez, Xavier Querol, Cristina Reche, Matic Ivančič, Martin Rigler, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Abstract. Black carbon (BC) is recognized as the most important warming agent among atmospheric aerosol particles. The absorption efficiency of pure BC is rather well-known, nevertheless the mixing of BC with other aerosol particles can enhance the BC light absorption efficiency, thus directly affecting Earth's radiative balance. The effects on climate of the BC absorption enhancement due to the mixing with these aerosols are not yet well constrained because these effects depend on the availability of material for mixing with BC, thus creating regional variations. Here we present the mass absorption cross-section (MAC) and absorption enhancement of BC particles (Eabs), at different wavelengths (from 370 to 880 nm for online measurements and at 637 nm for offline measurements) measured at two sites in the western Mediterranean, namely Barcelona (BCN; urban background) and Montseny (MSY; regional background). The Eabs values ranged between 1.24 and 1.51 at the urban station, depending on the season and wavelength used as well as on the pure BC MAC used as a reference. The largest contribution to Eabs was due to the internal mixing of BC particles with other aerosol compounds, on average between a 91 % and a 100 % at 370 and 880 nm, respectively. Additionally, 14.5 % and 4.6 % of the total enhancement at the short ultraviolet (UV) wavelength (370 nm) was due to externally mixed brown carbon (BrC) particles during the cold and the warm period, respectively. On average, at the MSY station, a higher Eabs value was observed (1.83 at 637 nm) compared to BCN (1.37 at 637 nm), which was associated with the higher fraction of organic aerosols (OA) available for BC coating at the regional station, as denoted by the higher organic carbon to elemental carbon (OC:EC) ratio observed at MSY compared to BCN. At both BCN and MSY, Eabs showed an exponential increase with the amount of non-refractory (NR) material available for coating (RNR-PM). The Eabs at 637 nm at the MSY regional station reached values up to 3 during episodes with high RNR-PM, whereas in BCN, Eabs kept values lower than 2 due to the lower relative amount of coating materials measured at BCN compared to MSY. The main sources of OA influencing Eabs throughout the year were hydrocarbon OA (HOA) and cooking-related OA (COA), i.e. primary OA (POA) from traffic and cooking emissions, respectively, at both 370 and 880 nm. At the short UV wavelength (370 nm), a strong contribution to Eabs from biomass burning OA (BBOA) and less oxidized oxygenated OA (LO-OOA) sources was observed in the colder period. Moreover, we found an increase of Eabs with the ageing state of the particles, especially during the colder period. This increase of Eabs with particle ageing was associated with a larger relative amount of secondary OA (SOA) compared to POA. The availability of a long dataset at both stations from offline measurements enabled a decade-long trend analysis of Eabs at 637 nm, that showed statistically significant (s.s.) positive trends of Eabs during the warmer months at the MSY station. This s.s. positive trend in MSY mirrored the observed increase of the OC:EC ratio over time. Moreover, in BCN during the COVID-19 lockdown period in spring 2020 we observed a sharp increase of Eabs due to the observed sharp increase of the OC:EC ratio. Our results show similar values of Eabs to those found in the literature for similar background stations.
Keywords: black carbomn, coating, organic aerosol, light absorption
Published in RUNG: 10.05.2024; Views: 288; Downloads: 2
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Increase in secondary organic aerosol in an urban environment : Increase in secondary organic aerosol in an urban environment
Marta Via, Maria Cruz Minguillon, Cristina Reche, Xavier Querol, Andrés Alastuey, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The evolution of fine aerosol (PM1) species as well as the contribution of potential sources to the total organic aerosol (OA) at an urban background site in Barcelona, in the western Mediterranean basin (WMB) was investigated. For this purpose, a quadrupole aerosol chemical speciation monitor (Q-ACSM) was deployed to acquire real-time measurements for two 1-year periods: May 2014–May 2015 (period A) and September 2017–October 2018 (period B). Total PM1 concentrations showed a slight decrease (from 10.1 to 9.6 μgm�3 from A to B), although the relative contribution of inorganic and organic compounds varied significantly. Regarding inorganic compounds, SO42- , black carbon(BC) and NH4+ showed a significant decrease from period A to B (21 %, 18% and 9 %, respectively), whilst NO3- concentrations were higher in B (8 %). Source apportionment revealed OA contained 46% and 70% secondary OA (SOA) in periods A and B, respectively. Two secondary oxygenated OA sources (OOA) were differentiated by their oxidation status (i.e. ageing): less oxidized (LO-OOA) and more oxidized (MO-OOA). Disregarding winter periods, when LO-OOA production was not favoured, LO-OOA transformation into MO-OOA was found to be more effective in period B. The lowest LO-OOA-to-MO-OOA ratio, excluding winter, was in September–October 2018 (0.65), implying an accumulation of aged OA after the high temperature and solar radiation conditions in the summer season. In addition to temperature, SOA (sum of OOA factors) was enhanced by exposure to NOx-polluted ambient and other pollutants, especially to O3 and during afternoon hours. The anthropogenic primary OA sources identified, cooking-related OA (COA), hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA), and biomass burning OA (BBOA), decreased from period A to B in both absolute concentrations and relative contribution (as a whole, 44% and 30 %, respectively). However, their concentrations and proportion to OA grew rapidly during highly polluted episodes. The influence of certain atmospheric episodes on OA sources was also assessed. Both SOA factors were boosted with long- and medium-range circulations, especially those coming from inland Europe and the Mediterranean (triggering mainly MO-OOA) and summer breeze-driven regional circulation (mainly LO-OOA). In contrast, POA was enhanced either during air-renewal episodes or stagnation anticyclonic events.
Keywords: aerosol, organic aerosol, source apportionment, PM1, particulate matter
Published in RUNG: 10.05.2024; Views: 274; Downloads: 3
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Intercomparison and characterization of 23 Aethalometers under laboratory and ambient air conditions: : procedures and unit-to-unit variabilities
Andrea Cuesta-Mosquera, Griša Močnik, Luka Drinovec, Thomas Müller, Sascha Pfeifer, Maria Cruz Minguillon, Björn Briel, Paul Buckley, Vadimas Dudoitis, Javier Fernández-García, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Aerosolized black carbon is monitored worldwide to quantify its impact on air quality and climate. Given its importance, measurements of black carbon mass concentrations must be conducted with instruments operating in quality-checked and ensured conditions to generate data which are reliable and comparable temporally and geographically. In this study, we report the results from the largest characterization and intercomparison of filter-based absorption photometers, the Aethalometer model AE33, belonging to several European monitoring networks. Under controlled laboratory conditions, a total of 23 instruments measured mass concentrations of black carbon from three well-characterized aerosol sources: synthetic soot, nigrosin particles, and ambient air from the urban background of Leipzig, Germany. The objective was to investigate the individual performance of the instruments and their comparability; we analyzed the response of the instruments to the different aerosol sources and the impact caused by the use of obsolete filter materials and the application of maintenance activities. Differences in the instrument-to-instrument variabilities from equivalent black carbon (eBC) concentrations reported at 880 nm were determined before maintenance activities (for soot measurements, average deviation from total least square regression was −2.0 % and the range −16 % to 7 %; for nigrosin measurements, average deviation was 0.4 % and the range −15 % to 17 %), and after they were carried out (for soot measurements, average deviation was −1.0 % and the range −14 % to 8 %; for nigrosin measurements, the average deviation was 0.5 % and the range −12 % to 15 %). The deviations are in most of the cases explained by the type of filter material employed by the instruments, the total particle load on the filter, and the flow calibration. The results of this intercomparison activity show that relatively small unit-to-unit variability of AE33-based particle light absorbing measurements is possible with well-maintained instruments. It is crucial to follow the guidelines for maintenance activities and the use of the proper filter tape in the AE33 to ensure high quality and comparable black carbon (BC) measurements among international observational networks.
Keywords: black carbon, aerosol, absorption, filter absorption photometer, aethaloemter
Published in RUNG: 03.05.2021; Views: 2216; Downloads: 0
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