National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2015

Peroxynitric acid (HO2NO2) measurements during the UBWOS 2013 and 2014 studies using iodide ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry

Veres, P.R., J.M. Roberts, R.J. Wild, P.M. Edwards, S.S. Brown, T.S. Bates, P.K. Quinn, J.E. Johnson, R.J. Zamora, and J. de Gouw

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 8101–8114, doi: 10.5194/acp-15-8101-2015 (2015)

In this paper laboratory work is documented establishing iodide ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry (I- CIMS) as a sensitive method for the unambiguous detection of peroxynitric acid (HO2NO2; PNA). A dynamic calibration source for HO2NO2, HO2, and HONO was developed and calibrated using a novel total NOy cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CaRDS) detector. Photochemical sources of these species were used for the calibration and validation of the I- CIMS instrument for detection of HO2NO2. Ambient observations of HO2NO2 using I- CIMS during the 2013 and 2014 Uintah Basin Wintertime Ozone Study (UBWOS) are presented. Strong inversions leading to a build-up of many primary and secondary pollutants as well as low temperatures drove daytime HO2NO2 as high as 1.5 ppbv during the 2013 study. A comparison of HO2NO2 observations to mixing ratios predicted using a chemical box model describing an ozone formation event observed during the 2013 wintertime shows agreement in the daily maxima HO2NO2 mixing ratio, but a differences of several hours in the timing of the observed maxima. Observations of vertical gradients suggest that the ground snow surface potentially serves as both a net sink and source of HO2NO2 depending on the time of day. Sensitivity tests using a chemical box model indicate that the lifetime of HO2NO2 with respect to deposition has a non-negligible impact on ozone production rates on the order of 10 %.

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