Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-174
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-174

  02 Aug 2021

02 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

On the use of reference mass spectra for reducing uncertainty in source apportionment of solid fuel burning in ambient organic aerosol

Chunshui Lin1,2,3, Darius Ceburnis1, Anna Trubetskaya4, Wei Xu1, William Smith5, Stig Hellebust6, John Wenger6, Colin O'Dowd1, and Jurgita Ovadnevaite1 Chunshui Lin et al.
  • 1School of Physics, Ryan Institute’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, National University of Ireland Galway. University Road, Galway. H91 CF50, Ireland
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology and Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 710061, Xi’an, China
  • 3Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China
  • 4Department of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
  • 5School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, University College Dublin, D04V1W8 Dublin, Ireland
  • 6School of Chemistry and Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, T23XE10 Cork, Ireland

Abstract. Reference mass spectra are routinely used to facilitate source apportionment of ambient organic aerosol (OA) measured by an aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM). However. source apportionment of solid fuel burning emissions can be complicated by the use of different fuels, stoves and burning conditions. In this study, the organic aerosol mass spectra produced from burning a range of solid fuels in several stoves have been compared using an ACSM. The same samples of biomass briquettes and smokeless coal were burnt in a conventional and Ecodesign stove, while different batches of wood, peat, and smoky coal were also burnt in the conventional stove and the OA mass spectra compared to those previously obtained using a boiler stove. The results shows that although certain ions (e.g., m/z 60) remain important markers for solid fuel burning, the peak intensities obtained at specific m/z values were not constant with variations ranging from <5% to >100 %. Using the OA mass spectra of peat, wood and coal as anchoring profiles and the variation of individual m/z values for the upper/lower limits in ME-2 analysis (the limits approach), the respective contributions of these fuels to ambient sub-micron aerosols during a winter period in Dublin were evaluated and compared with the conventional a value approach. The ME-2 solution was stable for the limits approach with uncertainties in the range of 2–7 %, while relatively large uncertainties (8–29 %) were found for the a value approach. Nevertheless, both approaches showed good agreement overall, with the burning of peat (39 % vs 41 %) and wood (14 % vs 11 %) accounting for the majority of ambient organic aerosol during polluted evenings, despite their small uses. This study, thus, accounts for the source variability in ME-2 modelling and provides better constraints on the primary factor contributions to the ambient organic aerosol estimations. The finding from this study has significant implications for public health and policymakers considering that it is often the case that different batches of solid fuels are often burned in different stoves in real-world applications.

Chunshui Lin et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Aug 2021

Chunshui Lin et al.

Chunshui Lin et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 328 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
265 57 6 328 41 0 3
  • HTML: 265
  • PDF: 57
  • XML: 6
  • Total: 328
  • Supplement: 41
  • BibTeX: 0
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 02 Aug 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 02 Aug 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 302 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 302 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 16 Sep 2021
Download
Short summary
Source apportionment of solid fuel burning emissions can be complicated by the use of different fuels, stoves and burning conditions. Here, the organic aerosol mass spectra produced from burning a range of solid fuels in several stoves were compared . This study accounts for the source variability and provides better constraints on the primary factor contributions to the ambient organic aerosol estimations, holding significant implications for public health and policymakers.