Characterization of atmospheric air pollutants at two sites in northern Kyushu, Japan - Chemical form, and chemical reaction

Takaaki Shimohara, Okihiro Oishi, Akira Utsunomiya, Hitoshi Mukai, Shiro Hatakeyama, Jang Eun-Suk, Itsushi Uno, Kentaro Murano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Airborne gaseous and particulate matter in winter was measured over for 37 days in January and December 1997 at 2 sampling sites in northern Kyushu, Japan. One sampling site, Goto Island (an isolated island in the East China Sea), was about 200km southwest of the other sampling site, Dazaifu city. In winter, acidic sulfates generated over the East Asian continent were transported to northwest Kyushu, to places such as Goto Island and the inland Kyushu area, and high sulfate concentrations were observed at the 2 sampling sites when strong NW winds blew. Acidity around Goto was mainly influenced by particulate NH4HSO4. The concentrations of NH3 at Goto Island were lower than at Dazaifu city. The difference in NH3 levels at the 2 sampling sites plays an important role in the chemical forms and sizes of the particulate matter. Nitrates at Goto Island were mostly present as NaNO3 and Ca(NO3)2 in coarse-size particles. During the process of long-range transport of air pollutants from the Asian continent to Goto, gaseous HNO3 was produced by a photochemical reactions of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere, and particulate NaNO3 and gaseous HCl were formed by a chlorine-loss reaction between NaCl and gaseous HNO3. When strong NW winds blew, acidic sulfates together with some of the NaNO3 and/or Ca(NO3)2 and some of gaseous HCl and HNO3, which exist in the sea to the west of Kyushu and Goto Island, were transported to inland Kyushu such as Dazaifu city. During the process of transport, most of the acidic sulfates and acidic gases were mixed with regional air pollutants such as chlorides and nitrates existing around Dazaifu city, and neutralized forming (NH4)2SO4, NH4Cl and NH4NO3 in an environment of excess NH3. Therefore, the main chemical forms of NO3- at Dazaifu city varied day-by-day from fine-sized NH4NO3 to coarse-sized NaNO3 and/or Ca(NO3)2. The appearance of NO3- in coarse-size particles at Dazaifu city was due to the transport of NO3- from around the sea to the west of Kyushu. Copyright (C) 2001 .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-681
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of atmospheric air pollutants at two sites in northern Kyushu, Japan - Chemical form, and chemical reaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this