Double-Edged Role of VOCs Reduction in Nitrate Formation: Insights from Observations during the China International Import Expo 2018

Yingnan Zhang, Hongli Wang, Liubin Huang, Liping Qiao, Min Zhou, Jiangshan Mu, Can Wu, Yujiao Zhu, Hengqing Shen, Cheng Huang, Gehui Wang, Tao Wang, Wenxing Wang, Likun Xue

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Aerosol nitrate (NO3-) constitutes a significant component of fine particles in China. Prioritizing the control of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a crucial step toward achieving clean air, yet its impact on NO3- pollution remains inadequately understood. Here, we examined the role of VOCs in NO3- formation by combining comprehensive field measurements conducted during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai (from 10 October to 22 November 2018) and multiphase chemical modeling. Despite a decline in primary pollutants during the CIIE, NO3- levels increased compared to pre-CIIE and post-CIIE─NO3- concentrations decreased in the daytime (by −10 and −26%) while increasing in the nighttime (by 8 and 30%). Analysis of the observations and backward trajectory indicates that the diurnal variation in NO3- was mainly attributed to local chemistry rather than meteorological conditions. Decreasing VOCs lowered the daytime NO3- production by reducing the hydroxyl radical level, whereas the greater VOCs reduction at night than that in the daytime increased the nitrate radical level, thereby promoting the nocturnal NO3- production. These results reveal the double-edged role of VOCs in NO3- formation, underscoring the need for transferring large VOC-emitting enterprises from the daytime to the nighttime, which should be considered in formulating corresponding policies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • multiphase chemical box model
  • nitrogen oxides
  • oxidants
  • particulate nitrate
  • volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry

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