Combustion-Derived Water Vapor May Worsen Winter Air Quality: Study


Water vapor is an important medium for the wet growth of particulate matters.

The increase of water vapor content will accelerate the liquid-phase oxidation of primary pollutants, promoting the generation of new particles and further worsening air quality.

Burning of natural gas, gasoline, and coal through human activities can generate water vapor, which is called combustion-derived water (CDW). Its fraction in total water vapor and contribution to smog formation in the lower atmosphere remain unclear.

Researchers from the Institute of Earth Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing University and Louisiana State University revealed that combustion-derived water vapor might worsen winter air quality. Their findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) on Dec. 15.

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