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AMBIENT AMMONIA AND AMMONIUM AEROSOL IN AN AGRICULTURAL REGION OF THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Pp. 242-248 in Air Pollution from Agricultural Operations III, Proceedings of the 12-15 October 2003 Conference (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina USA), Publication Date 12 October 2003.  701P1403.(doi:10.13031/2013.15515)
Authors:   J. T. Walker, D. R. Whitall, W. P. Robarge, and H. W. Paerl
Keywords:   Atmospheric nitrogen, Agricultural emissions, Acid gases, PM2.5, Denuders

We present 1 year of ambient ammonia (NH3), ammonium (NH4+), hydrochloric acid (HCl), chloride (Cl-), nitric acid (HNO3), nitrate (NO3-), nitrous acid (HONO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and sulfate (SO4=) concentrations at three sites in the Coastal Plain region of North Carolina. The three sites, Clinton, Kinston, and Morehead City, are located in counties with total NH3 emission densities of 5827, 2768, and 389 kg NH3 km-2 yr-1, respectively. Average NH3 concentrations were 5.32, 2.46, and 0.58 µg m-3 at Clinton, Kinston, and Morehead City, respectively. Average NH4+ concentrations were 1.84, 1.25, and 0.91 µg m-3, and total concentrations of NH4+-based (NH4+ + NO3- + SO4= + Cl-) particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters < 2.5 µm (PM2.5) were 8.66, 6.35, and 5.31 µg m-3 at Clinton, Kinston, and Morehead City, respectively. NH3 concentrations were highest during the summer at all sites, with summer-to-winter concentration ratios of 2.40, 5.70, and 1.69 at Clinton, Kinston, and Morehead City, respectively. NH3 concentrations were higher at night at the Clinton site, during the day at the Kinston site, and day vs. night concentrations were similar at the Morehead City site. NH4+ concentrations were highest during the winter at all sites, though this may not be representative of all years. Average daytime concentrations of NH4+ were similar to night values at all sites. NH4+ aerosol was primarily associated with SO4= at all sites, though the degree of SO4= neutralization was highest at Clinton and lowest at Morehead City. NH4+ aerosol formation appeared to be acid-gas-limited at the Clinton site during all seasons and during the spring and summer at the Kinston site. NH4+ aerosol formation was NH3-limited during all seasons at the Morehead City site and during the winter and fall at the Kinston site. This study shows that agricultural NH3 emissions influence local ambient concentrations of NH3 and PM2.5. (Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)