Articles online

A Case Study of Investigating Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation Pathways in Beijing using an Observation-based SOA Box Model

Category: Aerosol Source, Formation, Transport, Deposition, and its Chemical and Physical Processes

Volume: 18 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1606-1616
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.10.0415
PDF | Supplemental material | RIS | BibTeX

Wenyi Yang1,2, Jie Li 1,2, Ming Wang3, Yele Sun1, Zifa Wang1,2

  • 1 LAPC, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 2 Center for Excellence in Urban Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 3 Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China


SOA formation pathways in Beijing was examined by an observation-based box model.
The SOA formation rate was 30.3 µg m–3 day–1 in Beijing during the study period.
The contribution of IVOCs to SOA was dominant compared with that from VOCs and POA.


Current modeling studies have underestimated secondary organic aerosol (SOA) levels in China to a larger degree than over Europe and the United States. In this study, we investigated the SOA formation pathways in urban Beijing for the period of November 7–8, 2014, using an observation-constrained box model in which the multigenerational oxidation processes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and intermediate VOCs (IVOCs) and the chemical aging of semi-volatile primary organic aerosols (POAs) were taken into account. The results demonstrated that the SOA formation rate was 30.3 µg m–3 day–1 in Beijing during the 2-day study period. The contributions of VOCs, IVOCs, and POAs to the SOA levels were 14%, 82%, and 4%, respectively. IVOC contributions were on a scale similar to the magnitude of underestimation in a previous study. The uncertainty analysis showed that SOA levels during the study period were 55.4–102.4 µg m–3 (the 25th and 75th percentiles of the sensitivity simulations). The contribution of IVOCs to the SOA formation was dominant compared with that of VOCs and POAs. A more precise IVOC oxidation mechanism can thus improve the performance of the SOA model in China.


Secondary organic aerosol Observation-based SOA model Formation pathway Intermediate volatile organic compound Beijing

Related Article

Environmental Impacts of the Revised Emission Standard of Air Pollutants for Boilers in the Heating Season of Beijing, China

Tao Yue, Xiaoxi Zhang, Chenlong Wang, Penglai Zuo, Yali Tong, Jiajia Gao, Yifeng Xue, Li Tong, Kun Wang , Xiang Gao
Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.02.0046

A Comparative Analysis of Aerosol Microphysical, Optical and Radiative Properties during the Spring Festival Holiday over Beijing and Surrounding Regions

Yu Zheng, Huizheng Che , Xiangao Xia, Yaqiang Wang, Hujia Zhao, Hong Wang, Victor Estell├ęs, Linchang An, Ke Gui, Tianze Sun, Boshi Kang, Deguang Zhang, Chunyang Zhao, Chong Liu, Zhuozhi Shu, Yongliang Sun, Bingbo Huang, Rongfan Chai, Tianliang Zhao, Xiaoye Zhang
Volume: 18 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1774-1787
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.10.0396

Thermophoresis and Brownian Motion Effects on Nanoparticle Deposition Inside a 90° Square Bend Tube

Zhao-Qin Yin, Xian-Feng Li, Fu-Bing Bao , Cheng-Xu Tu, Xiao-Yan Gao
Volume: 18 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1746-1755
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.02.0047

Mass Concentrations and Carbonaceous Compositions of PM0.1, PM2.5, and PM10 at Urban Locations of Hanoi, Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Nghiem Trung Dung , Kazuhiko Sekiguchi, Ly Bich Thuy, Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, Ryosuke Yamaguchi
Volume: 18 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1591-1605
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.11.0502
PDF | Supplemental material