Simultaneous measurements of new particle formation at 1s time resolution at a street site and a rooftop site Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract. This study is the first to use two identical Fast Mobility Particle Sizers for simultaneous measurement of particle number size distributions (PNSDs) at a street site and a rooftop site within 500m distance in wintertime and springtime to investigate new particle formation (NPF) in Beijing. The collected datasets at 1s time resolution allow deduction of the freshly emitted traffic particle signal from the measurements at the street site and thereby enable the evaluation of the effects on NPF in an urban atmosphere through a site-by-site comparison. The number concentrations of 8 to 20nm newly formed particles and the apparent formation rate (FR) in the springtime were smaller at the street site than at the rooftop site. In contrast, NPF was enhanced in the wintertime at the street site with FR increased by a factor of 3 to 5, characterized by a shorter NPF time and higher new particle yields than at the rooftop site. Our results imply that the street canyon likely exerts distinct effects on NPF under warm or cold ambient temperature conditions because of on-road vehicle emissions, i.e., stronger condensation sinks that may be responsible for the reduced NPF in the springtime but efficient nucleation and partitioning of gaseous species that contribute to the enhanced NPF in the wintertime. The occurrence or absence of apparent growth for new particles with mobility diameters larger than 10nm was also analyzed. The oxidization of biogenic organics in the presence of strong photochemical reactions is suggested to play an important role in growing new particles with diameters larger than 10nm, but sulfuric acid is unlikely to be the main species for the apparent growth. However, the number of datasets used in this study is relatively small, and larger datasets are essential to draw a general conclusion.

published proceedings

  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, Y., Yan, C., Zhang, R., Wang, Z., Zheng, M., Gao, H., Gao, Y., & Yao, X.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Yujiao||Yan, Caiqing||Zhang, Renyi||Wang, Zifa||Zheng, Mei||Gao, Huiwang||Gao, Yang||Yao, Xiaohong

publication date

  • August 2017