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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-114
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-114
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 22 Jun 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 22 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

iNRACM: Incorporating 15N into the Regional Atmospheric Chemistry Mechanism (RACM) for assessing the role photochemistry plays in controlling the isotopic composition of NOx, NOy, and atmospheric nitrate.

Greg Michalski1, Huan Fang1, Wendell W. Walters2, and David Mase1 Greg Michalski et al.
  • 1Purdue University, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Department of Chemistry, West Lafayette, IN, USA
  • 2Brown University, Institute for Environment and Society.Providence, RI , USA

Abstract. Nitrogen oxides, classified as NOx (nitric oxide (NO) + nitrogen dioxide (NO2)) and NOy (NOx + NO3, N2O5 HNO3, + HNO4 + HONO + Peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) + organic nitrates + any oxidized N compound), are important trace gases in the troposphere, which play an important role in the formation of ozone, particulate matter (PM), and secondary organic aerosols (SOA). Among many uncertainties in movement of atmospheric N compounds, nowadays understanding of NOy cycling is limited by NOx emission budget, unresolved issues within the heterogeneous uptake coefficients of N2O5, the formation of organic nitrates in urban forests, etc. A photochemical mechanism used to simulate tropospheric photochemistry was altered to include 15N compounds and reactions as a means to simulate δ15N values in NOy compounds. The 16 N compounds and 96 reactions involving N used in Regional Atmospheric Chemistry Mechanism (RACM) were replicated using 15N in a new mechanism called iNRACM. The 192 N reactions in iNRACM were tested to see if isotope effects were relevant with respect to significantly changing the δ15N values (±1 ‰) of NOx, HONO, and/or HNO3. The isotope fractionation factors (α) for relevant reactions were assigned based on recent experimental or calculated values. Each relevant reaction in the iNRACM mechanism was tested individually and in concert in order to assess the controlling reactions. The final mechanism was tested by running simulations under different conditions that are typical of pristine, rural, urban, and highly polluted environments. The results of these simulations predicted several interesting δ15N variations.

Greg Michalski et al.

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Latest update: 10 Jul 2020
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Short summary
A new photochemical reaction scheme that incorporates nitrogen isotopes has been developed to simulate isotope tracers in air pollution. The model contains 16 N compounds and 96 reactions involving N used in Regional Atmospheric Chemistry Mechanism (RACM) were replicated using 15N in a new mechanism called iNRACM. The model is able to predict d15N variations in NOx, HONO, and HNO3 that are similar to those observed in aerosol and gases in the troposphere.
A new photochemical reaction scheme that incorporates nitrogen isotopes has been developed to...
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