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Characteristics of Haze Pollution Episodes and Analysis of a Typical Winter Haze Process in Shanghai

Category: Aerosol and Atmospheric Chemistry

Volume: 16 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1625-1637
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.01.0049
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Mengfei Zhao1, Guangli Xiu 1,4, Ting Qiao1, Yulan Li2, Jianzhen Yu3

  • 1 State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Risk Assessment and Control on Chemical Processes, East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), Shanghai 200237, China
  • 2 Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
  • 3 Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
  • 4 Australia-China Centre for Air Quality Science and Management (ACC-AQSM), (null), China


PM2.5 mass balances on haze and non-haze days are reconstructed.
The degree of oxidation of NO2 is greater on haze days.
The formation processes SOA are usually associated with nitrate formation.
One haze episode is selected to investigate the formation mechanism.


One-year field campaign was conducted from July 2013 to August 2014 at the site of East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in urban Shanghai, and mass concentrations and chemical compositions of PM2.5 were measured. Gaseous pollutants (SO2, NO2) and meteorological parameters (wind speed, wind direction, pressure, temperature and relative humidity) were simultaneously obtained. In this study, PM2.5 mass balances on haze and non-haze days were reconstructed and the sum of secondary inorganic aerosols (SIA) and organic matter (OM) accounted for over 80%. The fraction of nitrate in SIA was much higher on haze days than that on non-haze days, while the corresponding fraction of ammonium was lower, implying that the variations of the sources and formation processes of SIA on haze days. In theory, sulfate and nitrate might be almost fully neutralized by ammonium. Moreover, the sulfur oxidation ratio (SOR) values were much higher than the nitrogen oxidation ratio (NOR) values, indicating the greater oxidation capacity of SO2 would occur. On haze days, the high NOR values could be explained by the relatively low temperature, the high NO2 concentration and the potential dominant gas-phase reaction. As for secondary organic aerosol (SOA), the formation processes were usually associated with nitrate formation. In winter, haze pollution episodes occurred more frequently than those in other seasons, associated with the different features of wind speed, wind direction and 72-h backward trajectory. In addition, one case from 17 November 2013 to 4 January 2014 was selected to investigate the formation mechanism of haze pollution episodes. The key factors that affected the haze formation might be the local stable synoptic conditions including weak surface wind, surface temperature inversion and high relative humidity, the long-range transportations from the Northwest and the large amounts of emissions from local sources.


Haze pollution episode PM2.5 Secondary inorganic aerosols (SIA) Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) Meteorological conditions

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