Ammonium Chloride Associated Aerosol Liquid Water Enhances Haze in Delhi, India

Chen, Ying and Wang, Yu and Nenes, Athanasios and Wild, Oliver and Song, Shaojie and Hu, Dawei and Liu, Dantong and He, Jianjun and Hildebrandt Ruiz, Lea and Apte, Joshua S and Gunthe, Sachin S and Liu, Pengfei (2022) Ammonium Chloride Associated Aerosol Liquid Water Enhances Haze in Delhi, India. Environmental Science and Technology, 56 (11). pp. 7163-7173. ISSN 0013-936X

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The interaction between water vapor and atmospheric aerosol leads to enhancement in aerosol water content, which facilitates haze development, but its concentrations, sources, and impacts remain largely unknown in polluted urban environments. Here, we show that the Indian capital, Delhi, which tops the list of polluted capital cities, also experiences the highest aerosol water yet reported worldwide. This high aerosol water promotes secondary formation of aerosols and worsens air pollution. We report that severe pollution events are commonly associated with high aerosol water which enhances light scattering and reduces visibility by 70%. Strong light scattering also suppresses the boundary layer height on winter mornings in Delhi, inhibiting dispersal of pollutants and further exacerbating morning pollution peaks. We provide evidence that ammonium chloride is the largest contributor to aerosol water in Delhi, making up 40% on average, and we highlight that regulation of chlorine-containing precursors should be considered in mitigation strategies.

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Journal Article
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Environmental Science and Technology
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12 May 2022 08:30
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:27