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Anthropogenic Effects on Biogenic Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation


Anthropogenic emissions alter biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from naturally emitted volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). We review the major laboratory and field findings with regard to effects of anthropogenic pollutants (NOx, anthropogenic aerosols, SO2, NH3) on biogenic SOA formation. NOx participate in BVOC oxidation through changing the radical chemistry and oxidation capacity, leading to a complex SOA composition and yield sensitivity towards NOx level for different or even specific hydrocarbon precursors. Anthropogenic aerosols act as an important intermedium for gas—particle partitioning and particle-phase reactions, processes of which are influenced by the particle phase state, acidity, water content and thus associated with biogenic SOA mass accumulation. SO2 modifies biogenic SOA formation mainly through sulfuric acid formation and accompanies new particle formation and acid-catalyzed heterogeneous reactions. Some new SO2-involved mechanisms for organosulfate formation have also been proposed. NH3/amines, as the most prevalent base species in the atmosphere, influence biogenic SOA composition and modify the optical properties of SOA. The response of SOA formation behavior to these anthropogenic pollutants varies among different BVOCs precursors. Investigations on anthropogenic—biogenic interactions in some areas of China that are simultaneously influenced by anthropogenic and biogenic emissions are summarized. Based on this review, some recommendations are made for a more accurate assessment of controllable biogenic SOA formation and its contribution to the total SOA budget. This study also highlights the importance of controlling anthropogenic pollutant emissions with effective pollutant mitigation policies to reduce regional and global biogenic SOA formation.

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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 91644214), Youth Innovation Program of Universities in Shandong Province (Grant No. 2019KJD007), and Fundamental Research Fund of Shandong University (Grant No. 2020QNQT012).

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Correspondence to Lin Du.

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Article Highlights

• Anthropogenic pollutants influence biogenic secondary organic aerosol formation, and the detailed mechanisms are summarized. Observation and modeling evidence for the regional and seasonal variations of anthropogenic-biogenic interactions in China are discussed.

• Suggestions for further research on the effects of anthropogenic-biogenic interactions in secondary organic aerosol formation are given.

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Xu, L., Du, L., Tsona, N.T. et al. Anthropogenic Effects on Biogenic Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 38, 1053–1084 (2021).

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Key words

  • biogenic volatile organic compounds
  • anthropogenic pollutants
  • secondary organic aerosol
  • anthropogenic—biogenic interactions
  • China


  • 生物源挥发性有机物
  • 人为源污染物
  • 二次有机气溶胶
  • 人为源-生物源相互作用
  • 中国