Continuous measurement of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) in suburban and remote areas of western China

J. M. Zhang, Tao Wang, A. J. Ding, X. H. Zhou, L. K. Xue, C. N. Poon, W. S. Wu, J. Gao, H. C. Zuo, J. M. Chen, X. C. Zhang, S. J. Fan

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77 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge on atmospheric abundance of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) is important in assessing the severity of photochemical pollution, and for understanding chemical transformation of reactive odd nitrogen and its impact on the budget of tropospheric ozone (O3). In summer 2006, continuous measurements of PAN were made using an automatic GC-ECD analyzer with an on-line calibrator at a suburban site of Lanzhou (LZ) and a remote site of Mt. Waliguan (WLG) in western China, with concurrent measurements of O3, total reactive nitrogen (NOy) and carbon monoxide (CO). At LZ, several photochemical episodes were observed during the study, and the average mixing ratio of PAN (plus or minus standard deviation) was 0.76 (±0.89) ppbv with the maximum value of 9.13 ppbv, compared to an average value of 0.44 (±0.16) ppbv at remote WLG. The PAN mixing ratios in LZ exhibited strong diurnal variations with a maximum at noon, while enhanced concentrations of PAN were observed in the evening and a minimum in the afternoon at WLG. The daily O3and PAN concentration maxima showed a strong correlation (r2 = 0.91) in LZ, with a regression slope (PAN/O3) of 0.091 ppbv ppbv-1. At WLG, six well-identified pollution plumes (lasting 2-8 h) were observed with elevated concentrations of PAN (and other trace gases), and analysis of backward particle release simulation shows that the high-PAN events at WLG were mostly associated with the transport of air masses that had passed over LZ.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-237
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Lanzhou
  • Mt. Waliguan
  • Ozone
  • PAN
  • Plume transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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