Articles online

Responses of Secondary Inorganic PM2.5 to Precursor Gases in an Ammonia Abundant Area In North Carolina

Category: Air Pollution Modeling

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.10.0384

Export Citation:  RIS | BibTeX

Bin Cheng, Lingjuan Wang-Li

  • Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA


The Southeastern North Carolina was dominated by NH3-rich condition.
The AFOs NH3 emissions contributed to NH3-rich condition.
Responses of secondary iPM2.5 to total NH3, total HNO3 and total H2SO4 varied.
Reduction of total H2SO4 is more effective to reduce secondary iPM2.5.


Secondary inorganic fine particulate matter (iPM2.5) constitutes a significant amount of atmospheric PM2.5. The formation of secondary iPM2.5 is characterized by thermodynamic equilibrium gas-particle partitioning of gaseous ammonia (NH3) and aerosol ammonium (NH4+). To develop effective control strategies of atmospheric PM2.5, it is essential to understand the responses of secondary iPM2.5 to different precursor gases. In southeastern North Carolina, the NH3 is excessive to fully neutralize acid gases (NH3-rich condition). The NH3-rich condition is mainly attributed to the significant NH3 emissions in the region, especially the large amounts of animal feeding operation (AFO) facilities. To gain some insights into the impact of NH3 on the formation of secondary iPM2.5 in this region, responses of iPM2.5 to precursor gases under different ambient conditions were investigated based upon three-year monitoring data of iPM2.5 chemical compositions, gaseous pollutants, and meteorological conditions. The gas ratio (GR) was used to assess the neutralization degree of NH3, and ISORROPIA II model simulation was used to examine the responses of iPM2.5 to the changes in total NH3, total sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and total nitric acid (HNO3). It was discovered that under different ambient temperature and humidity conditions, the responses of iPM2.5 to precursor gases are different. In general, the iPM2.5 responds to total NH3 nonlinearly, whereas the responses of iPM2.5 to total H2SO4 and total HNO3 are linear. In NH3-rich regions, iPM2.5 is not sensitive to the change of total NH3, but it is very sensitive to the changes of total H2SO4 and/or total HNO3. Reduction of total H2SO4 leads to significant reduction of iPM2.5; thus, it is more effective than reducing total HNO3 and total NH3 to reduce iPM2.5 concentration. The research provides insight into PM2.5 control and regulation in NH3-rich regions.


Ammonia Inorganic PM2.5 Thermodynamic equilibrium modeling ISORROPIA II Animal feeding operations

Related Article

The Effect of Sampling Inlet Direction and Distance on Particle Source Measurements for Dispersion Modelling

Alexander Christian Østerskov Jensen , Mikko Poikkimäki, Anders Brostrøm, Miikka Dal Maso, Ole John Nielsen, Thomas Rosenørn, Andrew Butcher, Ismo Kalevi Koponen, Antti Joonas Koivisto

Sources of High Sulfate Aerosol Concentration Observed at Cape Hedo in Spring 2012

Syuichi Itahashi , Shiro Hatakeyama, Kojiro Shimada, Akinori Takami
Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.09.0350