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Particuology ; 78:23-34, 2023.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2228809


To investigate the effect of COVID-19 control measures on aerosol chemistry, the chemical compositions, mixing states, and formation mechanisms of carbonaceous particles in the urban atmosphere of Liaocheng in the North China Plain (NCP) were compared before and during the pandemic using a single particle aerosol mass spectrometry (SPAMS). The results showed that the concentrations of five air pollutants including PM2.5, PM10, SO2, NO2, and CO decreased by 41.2%-71.5% during the pandemic compared to those before the pandemic, whereas O3 increased by 1.3 times during the pandemic because of the depressed titration of O3 and more favorable meteorological conditions. The count and percentage contribution of carbonaceous particles in the total detected particles were lower during the pandemic than those before the pandemic. The carbonaceous particles were dominated by elemental and organic carbon (ECOC, 35.9%), followed by elemental carbon-aged (EC-aged, 19.6%) and organic carbon-fresh (OCfresh, 13.5%) before the pandemic, while EC-aged (25.3%), ECOC (17.9%), and secondary ions-rich (SEC, 17.8%) became the predominant species during the pandemic. The carbonaceous particle sizes during the pandemic showed a broader distribution than that before the pandemic, due to the condensation and coagulation of carbonaceous particles in the aging processes. The relative aerosol acidity (Rra) was smaller before the pandemic than that during the pandemic, indicating the more acidic particle aerosol during the pandemic closely related to the secondary species and relative humidity (RH). More than 95.0% and 86.0% of carbonaceous particles in the whole period were internally mixed with nitrate and sulfate, implying that most of the carbonaceous particles were associated with secondary oxidation during their formation processes. The diurnal variations of oxalate particles and correlation analyses suggested that oxalate particles before the pandemic were derived from aqueous oxidation driven by RH and liquid water content (LWC), while oxalate particles during the pandemic were originated from O3dominated photochemical oxidation.(c) 2022 Chinese Society of Particuology and Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.