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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 7 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 4531-4543, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 Jul 2018

Research article | 30 Jul 2018

Development of an incoherent broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectrometer for in situ measurements of HONO and NO2

Jun Duan1, Min Qin1, Bin Ouyang2, Wu Fang1, Xin Li3, Keding Lu3, Ke Tang1, Shuaixi Liang1, Fanhao Meng1, Zhaokun Hu1, Pinhua Xie1,4,5, Wenqing Liu1,4,5, and Rolf Häsler6,† Jun Duan et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Environment Optics and Technology, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, 230031, China
  • 2Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK
  • 3College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China
  • 4CAS Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, 361021, China
  • 5School of Environmental Science and Optoeclectronic Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230027, China
  • 6Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8: Troposphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, 52425, Germany
  • deceased

Abstract. Gaseous nitrous acid (HONO) is an important source of OH radicals in the troposphere. However, its source, especially that during daytime hours remains unclear. We present an instrument for simultaneous unambiguous measurements of HONO and NO2 with high time resolution based on incoherent broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS). To achieve robust performance and system stability under different environment conditions, the current IBBCEAS instrument has been developed with significant improvements in terms of efficient sampling as well as resistance against vibration and temperature change, and the IBBCEAS instrument also has low power consumption and a compact design that can be easily deployed on different platforms powered by a high-capacity lithium ion battery. The effective cavity length of the IBBCEAS was determined using the absorption of O2-O2 to account for the shortening effect caused by the mirror purge flows. The wall loss for HONO was estimated to be 2.0% via a HONO standard generator. Measurement precisions (2σ) for HONO and NO2 are about 180 and 340ppt in 30s, respectively. A field inter-comparison was carried out at a rural suburban site in Wangdu, Hebei Province, China. The concentrations of HONO and NO2 measured by IBBCEAS were compared with a long optical path absorption photometer (LOPAP) and a NOx analyzer (Thermo Fisher Electron Model 42i), and the results showed very good agreement, with correlation coefficients (R2) of HONO and NO2 being  ∼ 0.89 and  ∼ 0.95, respectively; in addition, vehicle deployments were also tested to enable mobile measurements of HONO and NO2, demonstrating the promising potential of using IBBCEAS for in situ, sensitive, accurate and fast simultaneous measurements of HONO and NO2 in the future.

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Short summary
We report a custom-built instrument for simultaneous unambiguous measurements of HONO and NO2 based on incoherent broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS). The current IBBCEAS instrument has made significant improvements in terms of efficient sampling as well as resistance against vibration; temperature change and the measurement precisions (2σ) for HONO are about 180 and 340 ppt in 30 s, respectively. The field inter-comparison and the mobile measurements are present.
We report a custom-built instrument for simultaneous unambiguous measurements of HONO and NO2...