Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-180
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-180

  14 Jul 2021

14 Jul 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

New photolytic converter for improving aircraft measurements of NO2 via chemiluminescence

Clara M. Nussbaumer1, Uwe Parchatka1, Ivan Tadic1, Birger Bohn2, Daniel Marno1, Monica Martinez1, Roland Rohloff1, Hartwig Harder1, Flora Kluge3, Klaus Pfeilsticker3, Florian Obersteiner4, Martin Zöger5, Raphael Doerich1, John N. Crowley1, Jos Lelieveld1,6, and Horst Fischer1 Clara M. Nussbaumer et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 2Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8: Troposphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52428 Jülich, Germany
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg Univsersity, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
  • 4Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 5Flight Experiments, German Aerospace Center (DLR), 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 6Climate and Atmosphere Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus

Abstract. Nitrogen oxides (NOx ≡ NO + NO2) are centrally involved in the photochemical processes taking place in the earth’s atmosphere. Measurements of NO2, particularly in remote areas where concentrations are of the order of pptv, are still a challenge and subject to extensive research. In this study, we present NO2 measurements via photolysis-chemiluminescence during the research aircraft campaign CAFE Africa (Chemistry of the Atmosphere – Field Experiment in Africa) 2018 around Cabo Verde as well as the results of laboratory experiments to characterize the photolytic converter used. We identify a memory effect within the conventional photolytic converter associated with high NO concentrations and rapidly changing water vapor concentrations, accompanying changes in altitude during aircraft measurements, which is due to the porous structure of the converter material. We test and characterize an alternative photolytic converter made from quartz glass which improves the reliability of NO2 measurements in laboratory and field studies.

Clara M. Nussbaumer 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-2021-180', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Clara M. Nussbaumer, 09 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-180', Anonymous Referee #3, 28 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Clara M. Nussbaumer, 09 Sep 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on amt-2021-180', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Aug 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Clara M. Nussbaumer, 09 Sep 2021

Clara M. Nussbaumer et al.

Clara M. Nussbaumer et al.

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Short summary
NO2 plays a central role in the atmospheric photochemical processes and requires accurate measurements. This research presents NO2 data obtained via chemiluminescence using a photolytic converter from airborne studies around Cabo Verde and laboratory investigations. We show the limits and error-proneness of a conventional blue light converter in aircraft measurements affected by humidity and NO levels and suggest the use of a new quartz converter for more reliable results.