Iodine speciation and size distribution in ambient aerosols at a coastal new particle formation hotspot in China

Huan Yu, Lili Ren, Xiangpeng Huang, Mingjie Xie, Jun He, Hang Xiao

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Intense new particle formation (NPF) events were observed in the coastal atmosphere during algae growth and farming season at Xiangshan gulf of the east China coast. High nucleation-mode iodine concentrations measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF-MS) confirmed that the NPF events were induced by iodine species. Our study provides important information on iodine speciation, size distributions, and its role in NPF in the context of heavy air pollution in China's coastal areas. For the first time, we identified 5 inorganic iodine species, 45 organic iodine compounds (35 molecular formulas), and a group of iodide-organic adducts in aerosols. The concentrations and size distributions of iodine species down to 10 nm were measured during the iodine-induced NPF, continental NPF, and non-NPF days at the coastal site and compared to those at an inland site. The iodine in the above four aerosol sample types were characterized by iodate, aromatic iodine compounds, iodoacetic acid or iodopropenoic acid, and iodide-organic adducts, respectively. Iodide and organic iodine compounds were found in the nucleation-mode particles; however, it is still not clear whether they contributed to nucleation or just new particle growth. Wild algae, as well as farmed algae, could be an important NPF source in China's coastal areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4025-4039
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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