Measurements of nitrous acid (HONO) in urban area of Shanghai, China. Academic Article uri icon


  • Nitrous acid (HONO), as a precursor of the hydroxyl radical (OH), plays an important role in the photochemistry of the troposphere, especially in the polluted urban atmosphere. A field campaign was conducted to measure atmospheric HONO concentration and that of other pollutants (such as NO2 and particle mass concentration) in the autumn of 2009 at Shanghai urban areas. HONO mixing ratios were simultaneously measured by three different techniques: long path absorption photometer (LOPAP), differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) and chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS). The measurements showed that the mixing ratios of HONO were highly variable and depended strongly on meteorological parameters. The HONO levels ranged from 0.5 to 7 ppb with maximum values during early morning and minimum levels during late afternoon. The three instruments reproduced consistent diurnal pattern of HONO concentrations with higher concentration during the night compared to the daylight hours. Comparison of HONOLOPAP/HONOCIMS ratios during daytime and nighttime periods exhibited a non-systematic disagreement of 0.93 and 1.16, respectively. This would indicate different chemical compositions of sampled air for the LOPAP and the CIMS instruments during daytime and nighttime periods, which have possibly affected measurements. Mean HONO concentration reported by LOPAP was 33 % higher than by DOAS on the whole period with no significant difference between daytime and nighttime periods. This revealed a systematic deviation from both instruments. The present data provides complementary information of HONO ambient levels in the atmosphere of Shanghai urban areas.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Pollut Res Int

author list (cited authors)

  • Bernard, F., Cazaunau, M., Grosselin, B., Zhou, B., Zheng, J., Liang, P., ... Mellouki, A.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Bernard, François||Cazaunau, Mathieu||Grosselin, Benoît||Zhou, Bin||Zheng, Jun||Liang, Peng||Zhang, Yujie||Ye, Xingnan||Daële, Véronique||Mu, Yujing||Zhang, Renyi||Chen, Jianmin||Mellouki, Abdelwahid

publication date

  • March 2016