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Aging of biomass burning emissions in the Indo-Gangetic Plain outflow: Implications for black carbon light-absorption enhancement

Kompalli, SK and Babu, SS and Ajith, TC and Moorthy, KK and Satheesh, SK and Boopathy, R and Das, T and Liu, D and Allan, J and Coe, H (2023) Aging of biomass burning emissions in the Indo-Gangetic Plain outflow: Implications for black carbon light-absorption enhancement. In: Atmospheric Research, 294 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106949


Recent studies worldwide have demonstrated that coating on atmospheric black carbon (BC) aerosol enhances its absorption potential. However, studies quantifying the light-absorption enhancement (Eabs) of BC are extremely limited over the Indian region. The northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) region witnesses annual episodes of substantial crop-residue burning during the post-monsoon season (PoMS), which has been attracting wide attention due to its impact on regional air quality and aerosol characteristics. Chemical aging of these biomass burning (BB) emissions occurs during its long-range transport across the IGP by the weak westerlies, and such atmospheric processing affects their chemical, optical, and radiative properties over downwind locations. This study examines the impact of atmospheric aging of biomass burning emissions on BC light-absorption enhancement (Eabs) using extensive, simultaneous measurements of single particle refractory BC and near-real-time mass spectrometry measurements of non-refractory submicron aerosols from an IGP outflow site. It was observed that organics were the dominant submicron aerosol species, and positive matrix factorization analysis of the organics mass spectra suggested that a large fraction of organics (64%) was secondary in nature. The BC particles in the IGP outflow (mass median diameter ∼ 0.18 ± 0.01 μm) were found to be thickly coated with volume-weighted bulk relative coating thickness in the range of 1.3–1.8. The evolution of biomass-burning organic aerosols (BBOA) indicated the presence of significant amounts of aged BBOA during the PoMS. Further, the oxidation products from the evolution of BB emissions contributed to enhanced coatings (∼ 30–70%) on BC. Mie core-shell theory calculations were then used to assess the changes in BC light absorption characteristics due to the coating of non-refractory mass on its cores. It was found that thick coatings on BC led to significant light-absorption enhancement (Eabs) (bulk Eabs in the range of 1.14–1.94 at 550 nm, depending on the extent of coating). Increased Eabs values of ≥1.8 were seen when the coating on BC exceeded 60% of its core size. The modeled bulk Eabs at 550 nm depicted a better association with highly oxidized secondary organic aerosols (SOA) than sulfate among the secondary aerosol species, suggesting an SOA-dominant regime. The present findings suggest that the critical impact of the aging of BC and co-emitted species from widespread BB emissions in the IGP outflow should be considered when evaluating the regional radiative implications.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Atmospheric Research
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords: Agricultural wastes; Air quality; Atmospheric aerosols; Atmospheric chemistry; Atmospheric movements; Biomass; Carbon; Factorization; Light absorption; Mass spectrometry; Optical properties; Particle size analysis; Thickness measurement, Absorption enhancement; Biomass burning emissions; Black carbon; Highly oxidized oxygenated organic aerosol; Indo-Gangetic Plains; Light-absorption enhancement; Mixing state; Organic aerosol; Oxygenated organics; Post-monsoon, Coatings, absorption; aerosol; biomass burning; black carbon; emission; mixing, Gangetic Plain; India
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 08:39
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 08:39
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/82880

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