Little is known about the formation processes of nitrooxy organosulfates (OSs) by nighttime chemistry. Here we characterize nitrooxy OSs at a molecular level in firework-related aerosols in urban Beijing during Chinese New Year. High-molecular-weight nitrooxy OSs with relatively low Hĝ€¯/ĝ€¯C and Oĝ€¯/ĝ€¯C ratios and high unsaturation are potentially aromatic-like nitrooxy OSs. They considerably increased during New Year's Eve, affected by the firework emissions. We find that large quantities of carboxylic-rich alicyclic molecules possibly formed by nighttime reactions. The sufficient abundance of aliphatic-like and aromatic-like nitrooxy OSs in firework-related aerosols demonstrates that anthropogenic volatile organic compounds are important precursors of urban secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). In addition, more than 98ĝ€¯% of those nitrooxy OSs are extremely low-volatility organic compounds that can easily partition into and consist in the particle phase and affect the volatility, hygroscopicity, and even toxicity of urban aerosols. Our study provides new insights into the formation of nitrooxy organosulfates from anthropogenic emissions through nighttime chemistry in the urban atmosphere.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science