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Photochemistry plays a role in modifying the absorption enhancement of black carbon TEXT SIZE: A A A
Date:2018.12.18 Author:XU Xuezhe Clicks:

Black carbon (BC) is the most efficient light-absorbing component of atmospheric aerosols and plays an important role in the global climate system. BC particles are produced from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and residual biomass. Atmospheric BC particles undergo several aging processes, including coagulation with other particles, condensation of vapours onto surfaces, and chemical oxidation. And aging processes dramatically change the morphology and mixing state of BC-containing particles, thereby altering their optical properties.


The light absorption enhancement of BC particles caused by coating is quantified by Eabs, the ratio of the absorption coefficients of coated and bare BC. However, the mechanisms responsible for enhancing BC absorption remain elusive due to the complexity of the aging process and its varied sources.


Recently, a research group led by Prof. ZHANG Weijun in Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (AIOFM), Hefei institutes of Physical Science find the photochemistry plays a role in modifying the absorption enhancement of BC-containing particles.


The influence of photochemical aging on Eabs and aerosol single scattering albedo (w, defined as the ratio of scattering to extinction coefficients) at Shouxian National Climatology Observatory in east China during the summer was studied by using a thermal denuder approach combined with a self-developed cavity-enhanced albedometer. The concentration of Ox (Ox = O3 + NO2) was used as a proxy for atmospheric photochemical aging.


The researchers find that the absorption amplification depended on the coating thickness and the absorption of coating materials, and photochemistry plays a role in modifying the absorption of BC-containing particles.


These results entitled “The influence of photochemical aging on light absorption of atmospheric black carbon and aerosol single-scattering albedo” have been published on line in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.


This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41330424), the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (1508085J03), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS (2016383), and the China Special Fund for Meteorological Research in the Public Interest (GYHY201406039).


Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-16829-2018



Figure 1 Scatter plot of Eabs and w for different photochemical oxidant concentrations. Variation in the observed diurnally averaged absorption enhancement and SSA (solid points, colour-coded with respect to the concentrations of Ox) is used for the modelling constraint. Both Eabs and w increase with Ox mixing ratio. (Image by XU Xuezhe)

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