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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (4) : 71
A study of peroxyacetyl nitrate at a rural site in Beijing based on continuous observations from 2015 to 2019 and the WRF-Chem model
Yulu Qiu1,2,3, Zhiqiang Ma1,2,3(), Weili Lin4, Weijun Quan2,3, Weiwei Pu2,3, Yingruo Li2,3, Liyan Zhou2,3, Qingfeng Shi2,3
1. Institute of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100089, China
2. Beijing Shangdianzi Regional Atmosphere Watch Station, Beijing 101507, China
3. Environmental Meteorology Forecast Center of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Beijing 100089, China
4. College of Life & Environmental Science, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081, China
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•PAN concentrations at a rural site near Beijing were monitored from 2015 to 2019.

•PAN concentrations exhibited high values in spring and low values in winter.

•Anomalously southerlies induced extreme high PAN concentration in spring 2018.

Peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) is one of the most important photochemical pollutants and has aroused much concern in China in recent decades. However, few studies described the long-term variations in PAN in China. In this study, we continuously monitored the PAN, O3 and NOx concentrations at a regional background site near Beijing from August 2015 to February 2019. Based on the observed concentrations and climate data, we analyzed the seasonal PAN variations. The results revealed that the monthly mean PAN concentration ranged from 0.33–2.41 ppb, with an average value of 0.94 ppb. The PAN concentration exhibited a distinct seasonal variation, with high values in spring and low values in winter. After analyzing the corresponding meteorological data, we found that stronger ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a relatively longer lifetime and a higher background PAN concentration contributed to the high PAN concentrations in spring. In addition, with the utilization of the WRF-Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry) model, the cause of the extremely high PAN concentration in spring 2018 was determined. The model results demonstrated that an anomalously low pressure and the southwesterly winds in northern China might be the main causes of the increased PAN concentration in Beijing and its surrounding area in spring 2018.

Keywords PAN      Ozone      Beijing      WRF-Chem     
Corresponding Author(s): Zhiqiang Ma   
Issue Date: 27 April 2020
 Cite this article:   
Yulu Qiu,Zhiqiang Ma,Weili Lin, et al. A study of peroxyacetyl nitrate at a rural site in Beijing based on continuous observations from 2015 to 2019 and the WRF-Chem model[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2020, 14(4): 71.
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Yulu Qiu
Zhiqiang Ma
Weili Lin
Weijun Quan
Weiwei Pu
Yingruo Li
Liyan Zhou
Qingfeng Shi
Fig.1  The anthropogenic emission rates of NOx (unit: 1.0e12 kg/m2/s) in 2010 and the location of the SDZ sampling site (red star). The emission rates are derived from the MIX emission inventory in 2010 (Li et al., 2017).
Fig.2  Observed monthly concentrations of PAN (ppb), PM2.5 (mg/m3), O3 (ppb) and NOx (ppb) at the SDZ site from August 2015 to February 2019. The whiskers represent the standard deviation in each month.
Fig.3  Observed diurnal variations in the PAN concentration at the SDZ site in each season averaged from August 2015 to February 2019.
Fig.4  Observed monthly variations in ultraviolet-A (UV-A) (W/m2), ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation (W/m2) and precipitation (mm) at the SDZ site from August 2015 to December 2018.
Fig.5  Box plots of the PAN family lifetime at the SDZ site averaged from August 2015 to February 2019.
Fig.6  (a) Hourly observed PAN concentrations (ppb, black line) and 5% percentile (ppb, red line) over 7 days during the observation period at the SDZ site. (b) Monthly averaged values of the 7 day-5% percentile concentrations (ppb, black line with circle) and the corresponding standard deviation (red contour). The blue shaded areas denote the springtime.
Fig.7  Monthly mean concentrations of PAN (ppb), O3 (ppb), NOx (ppb) and PM2.5 (mg/m3) from March 2016 to 2018. The whiskers represent the standard deviation. The red values in the upper left corners denote the changes rates in 2018 compared with mean values from 2016 to 2018.
Fig.8  Simulated surface-layer PAN concentrations (ppb) in March 2018 (top) and the differences between the PAN concentrations (%) in March of 2018 and 2017. The three columns represent the PAN concentrations throughout the whole day, in the daytime and in the nighttime, respectively. The red stars represent the position of the SDZ site.
Fig.9  Simulated monthly PAN changes induced by each physical/chemical process averaged over the NCP region in March of 2017 and 2018 during the daytime (8:00–20:00) as well as the difference between the two months.
Fig.10  Simulated monthly mean winds at 850 hPa and sea-level pressure (hPa) in March of 2017 and 2018 as well as the difference (2018–2017) between the simulated winds. The red stars represent the position of the SDZ site.
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