Chinese scientists at Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (AIOFM) have developed a high-performance instrument to track Gaseous nitrous acid (HONO) and NO2, both playing the important role in haze formation.
This instrument, they call it incoherent broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectrometer (or IBBCEAS), could detect an extremely small amount of key trace gas in atmosphere and the experimental results would be obtained in a very short time of only several seconds.
At the same time, it could operate fully automatically without chemical pollution.
The team thought that the IBBCEAS would become a new method to research the formation mechanism of haze.
According to the team, they also conducted an inter-comparison studies outdoors to verify its performance and the results were satisfying.
In addition to its stable high-performance, the team also made a further attempt to make a car loaded with the facility and then to realize real-time monitoring.
HONO, an important source of OH radical which helps scientists to find out how haze forms, however, still remains unclear, especially for its daytime sources.
This instrument was developed by QIN Min and DUAN Jun.
These works are financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.The research results have been published online in Atmos. Meas. Tech.
The role of HONO in atmospheric chemistry. (Image by DUAN Jun)