Chemical Composition and Sources of Particles in the Atmosphere (2nd Edition)

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Aerosols".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 June 2024 | Viewed by 3572

Special Issue Editors

Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou 511443, China
Interests: aerosols; source apportionment; nitrogen-containing organic aerosols; aerosol hygroscopicity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
Interests: organic aerosol; volatility; source apportionment; mass spectrometer; secondary formation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is a follow-up of the first Special Issue entitled “Chemical Composition and Sources of Particles in the Atmosphere” (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/atmosphere/special_issues/particles) published in Atmosphere in 2023 and will cover all aspects of Chemical Composition and Sources of Particles in the Atmosphere.

The atmosphere of Earth is rich in aerosols. Their presence has a strong impact on air quality, human health, and the climate, which has been reported for several decades. Since the early 1960s, instruments have been available to characterize the aerosol in detail. With the development of measurement techniques in recent years, the contribution of aerosols from different chemical compositions has started to be recognized, yet it is still far from clear. For example, there are thousands of organic molecular compounds in particles that cannot be distinguished using one instrument. Recent breakthroughs for recognizing highly oxygenated organic molecules (HOMs), organic nitrates (ONs), organic sulfates (OSs), and amines have helped us to understand their chemical and physical properties, facilitating the elucidation of their environmental impact. The aerosols in the atmosphere can be derived from primary emissions, which are a direct transfer of particles to the air. Primary emissions include natural activity, such as sea spray drifts, volcanic eruptions, and forest or brush burnings, blowing dust or soils, and pollen spread, which were the main source of aerosols in the pre-industrial period. Since the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, the influence of human activity on aerosols greatly changed the chemical composition in urban and suburban areas; the predominant anthropogenic-derived primary sources of aerosols include vehicles exhausts, industrial emission, coal burning, biomass burning, cooking, etc., which substantially contribute black carbon, nitrate, sulfate, and organic aerosols to the ambient air, thus changing the air quality and atmospheric impact of aerosols. Aerosols in the atmosphere can also be produced from secondary chemical processes. The secondary formation mechanism of aerosols is very complex due to their complicated precursors and formation pathways, which has become a rapidly developing field in recent decades. In general, the fraction of different chemical components and the source contributions to aerosols in the atmosphere varies at different times and locations. A better characterization of aerosol chemical compositions and sources is key to elucidating their atmospheric fate, mitigating climate change, and protecting human health. For this Special Issue, the topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Chemical and physical properties of aerosols;
  • Chemical components and their mass fraction in aerosols;
  • Different source contribution to aerosols;
  • Formation and evolution mechanism of aerosols;
  • The environmental impact of different components of aerosols.

Dr. Shan Huang
Dr. Wei Wei Hu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • chemical composition
  • source apportionment
  • organic aerosol
  • secondary formation
  • environmental impact
  • primary emission
  • anthropogenic/biogenic
  • chemical evolution
  • inorganic species

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 2829 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Sulfate Formation from Gas-Phase SO2 Oxidation in Non–•OH–Radical Environments
by Xiaofan Lv, Makroni Lily, Stanley Numbonui Tasheh, Julius Numbonui Ghogomu, Lin Du and Narcisse Tsona Tchinda
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010064 - 3 Jan 2024
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Abstract
Recent research on atmospheric particle formation has shown substantial discrepancies between observed and modeled atmospheric sulfate levels. This is because models mostly consider sulfate originating from SO2 oxidation by •OH radicals in mechanisms catalyzed by solar radiation while ignoring other pathways [...] Read more.
Recent research on atmospheric particle formation has shown substantial discrepancies between observed and modeled atmospheric sulfate levels. This is because models mostly consider sulfate originating from SO2 oxidation by •OH radicals in mechanisms catalyzed by solar radiation while ignoring other pathways of non-radical SO2 oxidation that would substantially alter atmospheric sulfate levels. Herein, we use high-level quantum chemical calculations based on density functional theory and coupled cluster theory to show that monoethanolamine (MEA), a typical alkanolamine pollutant released from CO2 capture technology, can facilitate the conversion of atmospheric SO2 to sulfate in a non•OHradical oxidation mechanism. The initial process is the MEA-induced SO2 hydrolysis leading to the formation of HOSO2MEAH+. The latter entity is thereafter oxidized by ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to form HSO4MEAH+, which is an identified stabilizing entity in sulfate-based aerosol formation. Results show that the HOSO2MEAH+ reaction with O3 is kinetically and thermodynamically more feasible than the reaction with NO2. The presence of an additional water molecule further promotes the HOSO2MEAH+ reaction with O3, which occurs in a barrierless process, while it instead favors HONO formation in the reaction with NO2. The investigated pathway highlights the potential role alkanolamines may play in SO2 oxidation to sulfate, especially under conditions that are not favorable for •OH production, thereby providing an alternative sulfate source for aerosol modeling. The studied mechanism is not only relevant to sulfate formation and may effectively compete with reactions with sulfur dioxide and hydroxyl radicals under heavily polluted and highly humid conditions such as haze events, but also an important pathway in MEA removal processes. Full article
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Review

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20 pages, 2019 KiB  
Review
Light-Duty Vehicle Brake Emission Factors
by Barouch Giechaskiel, Theodoros Grigoratos, Panagiota Dilara, Traianos Karageorgiou, Leonidas Ntziachristos and Zissis Samaras
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010097 - 11 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2013
Abstract
Particulate Matter (PM) air pollution has been linked to major adverse health effects. Road transport still contributes significantly to ambient PM concentrations, but mainly due to the non-exhaust emissions from vehicles. For the first time worldwide, limits for non-exhaust emissions have been proposed [...] Read more.
Particulate Matter (PM) air pollution has been linked to major adverse health effects. Road transport still contributes significantly to ambient PM concentrations, but mainly due to the non-exhaust emissions from vehicles. For the first time worldwide, limits for non-exhaust emissions have been proposed by the European Union for the upcoming Euro 7 step. For these reasons, interest in brake emissions has increased in the past few years. Realistic emission factors are necessary to accurately calculate the contribution of brake emissions to air pollution but also to estimate the emissions reduction potential of new or existing technologies and improved brake formulations. This paper reviews emission factors from light-duty vehicles reported in the literature, with a focus on those that followed the recently introduced Global Technical Regulation (GTR 24) methodology on brakes in light-duty vehicles. Reduction efficiencies of non-asbestos organic (NAO) pads, brake dust filters, ceramic discs, coated discs, and regenerative braking are also discussed. Finally, the emission factors are compared with roadside measurements of brake emissions and emission inventories worldwide. The findings of this study can be used as an input in emission inventories to estimate the contribution of brakes to air pollution. Full article
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