Experimental study of the sampling artifact of chloride depletion from collected sea salt aerosols

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-605
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes


Sampling artifact of chloride depletion from collected sea salt particles was studied, based on simultaneous measurements of size distribution measurements by a 10-stage Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor (MOUDI) and of PM2.5 measurements by a Compact Porous Metal Denuder Sampler (PMDS) at a coastal site in Hong Kong on May 7, 8, 9, 11, and 29, 1998. The ambient concentrations of SO2, HNO3, HNO2, and NH3 were also measured by the PMDS. PM2.5 measurements by the PMDS, which is equipped with denuders and nylon back filters, are compared with the PM1.8 and PM3.1 measurements by the MOUDI. The percentages of chloride depletion from sea salt aerosols in PM1.8 and PM3.1 were 4-45% higher than that in PM2.5. This suggests that chloride evaporation in PM1.8 and PM3.1 collected on Teflon filters of the MOUDI during sampling was present. From the sum of the contributions of particles on the Teflon and nylon filters of the PMDS, nitrate formation almost completely accounts for chloride depletion in PM2.5 prior to collection since the equivalent ratio of [Na+] to ([NO3 -] + [Cl-]) is close to the seawater ratio of 0.85. However, it was found that 22-74% of nitrate and 45-86% of chloride in the collected particles on the Teflon filter of the PMDS evaporated during sampling. Excess chloride depletion unexplained by NO3 - and nss-SO4 2- was found in the collected particles on the Teflon filter of the PMDS. Similarly, an amount of 3.7-27.2 nequiv m-3 of excess depleted chloride (equivalent to 8-55% of total chloride depletion) was found in supermicron particles collected by the MOUDI. In the 1.8-3.1 μm particles, the excess depleted chloride is positively correlated to the chloride evaporated from the deposited particles. Particle-particle interactions are proposed to explain the evaporation of nitrates and chlorides in the PMDS and MOUDI measurements. The observed chloride depletion from seasalt aerosols was partially attributed to sampling artifact due to particle-particle interactions.