The sensitivity of PM2.5 acidity to meteorological parameters and chemical composition changes: 10-year records from six Canadian monitoring sites

Aerosol pH is difficult to measure directly but can be calculated if the chemical composition is known with sufficient accuracy and precision to calculate the aerosol water content and the H+ concentration through ion balance. In practical terms, simultaneous measurements of at least one semi-volatile constitute, e.g. NH3 or HNO3, are required to provide a constraint on the calculation of pH. Long-term records of aerosol pH are scarce due to the limited monitoring of NH3 in conjunction with PM2.5. In this study, 10-year (2007–2016) records of pH of PM2.5 at six eastern Canadian sites were calculated using the E-AIM II model with the input of gaseous NH3, gaseous HNO3 and major water-soluble inorganic ions in PM2.5 provided by Canada's National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) Program.

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