EGU2020-2369
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2369
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Photo-Induced Heterogeneous Chemistry of Reactive Species on Aerosol Surfaces: Using Photo-Fragmentation Laser Induced Fluorescence for the Measurement of Nitrous Acid Production from Titanium Dioxide Aerosols

Joanna Dyson1, Graham Boustead1, Lauren Fleming1, Mark Blitz1,2, Daniel Stone1, Stephen Arnold3, Lisa Whalley1,2, and Dwayne Heard1
Joanna Dyson et al.
  • 1School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 2National Centre of Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 3School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

The hydroxyl radical (OH) is the main oxidant in the troposphere and is vitally important for its role in the removal of greenhouse gases such as methane from the atmosphere. Moreover, the OH radical also has a role in the formation of secondary pollutants such as tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs), formed via the oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Understanding the sources and sinks of OH within the atmosphere is therefore crucial in order to fully understand the concentration and distribution of trace atmospheric species associated with climate change and poor air quality.

In polluted environments the dominant source of OH to initiate oxidation is the photolysis of nitrous acid (HONO). Current atmospheric chemistry models underestimate the concentration of HONO indicating a potential missing tropospheric source of HONO. There is a large uncertainty in the production of HONO from the contribution and role of aerosols and heterogeneous chemistry both under light and dark conditions.

In order to investigate the missing source of HONO from illuminated aerosols and determine its atmospheric relevance, a photo-fragmentation laser induced fluorescence (PF-LIF) instrument coupled to an aerosol flow tube system has been constructed. The PF-LIF instrument provides a highly sensitive measurement of HONO by fragmenting it into OH which is then detected in a low pressure cell by LIF. The aim of this system is to measure the rate of production of HONO from illuminated aerosol surfaces.

We will present an overview of the PF-LIF instrument and results from experiments investigating the reactive uptake of NO2 by TiO2 aerosols to produce HONO. The change in the reactive uptake coefficient as a function of NO2 concentration and the dependence of HONO production on relative humidity and light intensity will also be discussed.   

How to cite: Dyson, J., Boustead, G., Fleming, L., Blitz, M., Stone, D., Arnold, S., Whalley, L., and Heard, D.: Photo-Induced Heterogeneous Chemistry of Reactive Species on Aerosol Surfaces: Using Photo-Fragmentation Laser Induced Fluorescence for the Measurement of Nitrous Acid Production from Titanium Dioxide Aerosols, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2369, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2369, 2020

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