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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering >> 2021, Volume 15, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11783-020-1326-x

Secondary aerosol formation in winter haze over the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, China

1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
2. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
3. Beijing Innovation Center for Engineering Sciences and Advanced Technology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Available online: 2020-10-10

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Abstract • Characteristics and interannual variation of aerosol pollution are illustrated. • Mechanisms of secondary aerosol formation in winter haze of North China are reviewed. • Directions in future studies of secondary aerosol formation are provided. Severe haze pollution occurs frequently in the winter over the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region (China), exerting profound impacts on air quality, visibility, and human health. The Chinese Government has taken strict mitigation actions since 2013 and has achieved a significant reduction in the annual mean PM2.5 concentration over this region. However, the level of secondary aerosols during heavy haze episodes showed little decrease during this period. During heavy haze episodes, the concentrations of secondary aerosol components, including sulfate, nitrate and secondary organics, in aerosol particles increase sharply, acting as the main contributors to aerosol pollution. To achieve effective control of particle pollution in the BTH region, the precise and complete secondary aerosol formation mechanisms have been investigated, and advances have been made about the mechanisms of gas phase reaction, nucleation and heterogeneous reactions in forming secondary aerosols. This paper reviews the research progress in aerosol chemistry during haze pollution episodes in the BTH region, lays out the challenges in haze formation studies, and provides implications and directions for future research.

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