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Technical Note: The application of an improved gas and aerosol collector for ambient air pollutants in China

by H. B. Dong, L. M. Zeng, M. Hu, Y. S. Yu, Y. H. Zhang, J. Slanina, M. Zheng, Z. F. Wang, R. Jansen show all authors
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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An improved Gas and Aerosol Collector (GAC) equipped with a newly designed aerosol collector and a set of dull-polished wet annular denuder (WAD) was developed based on a Steam Jet Aerosol Collector (SJAC) sampler. Combined with Ion Chromatography (IC) the new sampler performed well in laboratory tests with high collection efficiencies for SO2 (above 98 %) and particulate sulfate (as high as 99.5 %). An inter-comparison between the GAC-IC system and the filter-pack method was performed and the results indicated that the GAC-IC system could supply reliable particulate sulfate, nitrate, chloride, and ammonium data in field measurement with a much wider range of ambient concentrations. When applied in two major field campaigns (rural and coastal sites) in China, the GAC-IC system provided high-quality data in ambient conditions even under high loadings of pollutants. Its measurements were highly correlated with data by other commercial instruments such as the SO2 analyzer (43c, Thermo-Fisher, USA; R-2 as 0.96), the HONO analyzer (LOPAP, Germany; R-2 as 0.91 for samples from 15: 00 to 07: 00), a filter sampler (Tianhong, China; R-2 as 0.86 for SO42-), and Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS, Aerodyne, USA; R-2 above 0.77 for major species) over a wide range of concentrations. Through the application of the GAC-IC system, it was identified that 70% of chloride and nitrate by the filter method could be lost during daytime sampling due to high temperature in the rural site of Kaiping. In Changdao field campaign (coastal site), though a particle dryer was applied, its drying efficiency was not well considered for the collection efficiency of AMS seemed still interfered a bit by local high relative humidity. If the inter-comparison was done with relative humidity below 50 %, the correlations ranged from 0.81 to 0.94 for major species. Through laboratory and field studies, this instrument is proved particularly useful in future intensive campaigns or long-term monitoring stations to study various environmental issues such as secondary aerosol and haze formation, as well as climate change.

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