[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Secondary organic aerosol components (SOA) contribute significantly to the activation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the atmosphere. The CCN activity of internally mixed submicron SOA particles is often parameterized assuming a size-independent single-hygroscopicity parameter κ. In the experiments done in a large atmospheric reactor (SAPHIR, Simulation of Atmospheric PHotochemistry In a large Reaction chamber, Jülich), we consistently observed size-dependent κ and particle composition for SOA from different precursors in the size range of 50 nm-200 nm. Smaller particles had higher κ and a higher degree of oxidation, although all particles were formed from the same reaction mixture. Since decreasing volatility and increasing hygroscopicity often covary with the degree of oxidation, the size dependence of composition and hence of CCN activity can be understood by enrichment of higher oxygenated, low-volatility hygroscopic compounds in smaller particles. Neglecting the size dependence of κ can lead to significant bias in the prediction of the activated fraction of particles during cloud formation.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Geophysical Research Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent field data and model analysis show that secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation is enhanced under anthropogenic emissions (de Gouw et al. 2005; Spracklen et al. 2011). 14C carbon isotopic analysis showed that the SOA material itself is composed mostly of modern carbon, i.e. arises from biogenic sources, including biomass burning (Weber et al., 2007). Such an enhancement of biogenic SOA formation by anthropogenic emissions contributes to reconcile the gap between the modeled organic aerosol concentration and observed concentration in the field (Spracklen et al. 2011). Anthropogenic VOC (AVOC) is one important factor in the anthropogenic emissions, possibly contributing to the enhanced SOA formation. The interaction of AVOC with biogenic VOC (BVOC) will also change the aerosol properties. This study will present the influence of such an interaction on particle formation yield as well as physicochemical properties including volatility, hygroscopicity, cloud condensation nuclei activity and optical properties investigated in the SAPHIR chamber, Juelich, Germany. Aromatics (toluene, xylene) were used to represent AVOC and monoterpene mixture (α-pinene:limonene=1:1) were used to represent BVOC. The VOC were added in different orders to simulate the interactions of ASOA and BSOA. Our study has important implications for understanding SOA formation under the interaction of AVOC and BVOC as well as assessing its effect on radiative forcing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, the number and amount of biogenically emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has been discussed vigorously. Depending on the ecosystem the published number varies between a dozen and several hundred compounds. We present ecosystem exchange fluxes from a mixed oak-hornbeam forest in the Po Valley, Italy. The fluxes were measured by a proton transfer reaction-time-of-flight (PTR-ToF) mass spectrometer and calculated by the eddy covariance (EC) method. Detectable fluxes were observed for twelve compounds, dominated by isoprene, which comprised over 65 % of the total flux emission. The daily average of the total VOC emission was 9.5 nmol m-2 s-1. Methanol had the highest concentration and accounted for the largest deposition. Methanol seemed to be deposited to dew, as the deposition happened in the early morning, right after the calculated surface temperature came closest to the calculated dew point temperature. We estimated that up to 27 % of the upward flux of methyl vinyl ketone (MVK) and methacrolein (MACR) originated from atmospheric oxidation of isoprene. A comparison between two flux detection methods (classical/visual and automated) was made. Their respective advantages and disadvantages were discussed and the differences in their results shown. Both provide comparable results; however we recommend the automated method with a compound filter, which combines the fast analysis and better flux detection, without the overestimation due to double counting.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trees can significantly impact the urban air chemistry by the uptake and emission of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which are involved in ozone and particle formation. Here we present the emission potentials of “constitutive” (cBVOCs) and “stress-induced” BVOCs (sBVOCs) from the dominant broadleaf woody plant species in the megacity of Beijing. Based on an inventory of BVOC emissions and the tree census, we assessed the potential impact of BVOCs on secondary particulate matter formation in 2005 and 2010, i.e., before and after realizing the large tree-planting program for the 2008 Olympic Games. We found that sBVOCs, such as 10 fatty acid derivatives, benzenoids and sesquiterpenes, constituted a significant fraction (∼ 15 %) of the total annual BVOC emissions, and we estimated that the overall annual BVOC budget may have doubled from ∼ 3.6 × 109g C year−1 in 2005 to ∼ 7.1 × 109 g C year−1 in 2010 due to the increase in urban greens, while at the same time, the emission of anthropogenic VOCs (AVOCs) could be lowered by 24 %. Based on our BVOC emission assessment, we estimated the biological impact on SOA mass formation in Beijing. Compared to AVOCs, the contribution of biogenic precursors (2–5 %) for secondary particulate matter in Beijing was low. However, sBVOCs can significantly contribute (∼ 40 %) to the formation of total secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from biogenic sources; apparently, their annual emission increased from 1.05 µgm−3 in 2005 to 2.05 µgm−3 in 2010. This study demonstrates that biogenic and, in particular, sBVOC emissions contribute to SOA formation in megacities. However, the main problems regarding air quality in Beijing still originate from anthropogenic activities. Nevertheless, the present survey suggests that in urban plantation programs, the selection of plant species with low cBVOC and sBVOC emission potentials have some 25 possible beneficial effects on urban air quality.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trees can significantly impact the urban air chemistry by the uptake and emission of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which are involved in ozone and particle formation. Here we present the emission potentials of "constitutive" (cBVOCs) and "stress-induced" BVOCs (sBVOCs) from the dominant broadleaf woody plant species in the megacity of Beijing. Based on an inventory of BVOC emissions and the tree census, we assessed the potential impact of BVOCs on secondary particulate matter formation in 2005 and 2010, i.e., before and after realizing the large tree-planting program for the 2008 Olympic Games. We found that sBVOCs, such as fatty acid derivatives, benzenoids and sesquiterpenes, constituted a significant fraction (∼ 15 %) of the total annual BVOC emissions, and we estimated that the overall annual BVOC budget may have doubled from ∼ 3.6 × 109 g C year-1 in 2005 to ∼ 7.1 × 109 g C year-1 in 2010 due to the increase in urban greens, while at the same time, the emission of anthropogenic VOCs (AVOCs) could be lowered by 24 %. Based on our BVOC emission assessment, we estimated the biological impact on SOA mass formation in Beijing. Compared to AVOCs, the contribution of biogenic precursors (2–5 %) for secondary particulate matter in Beijing was low. However, sBVOCs can significantly contribute (∼ 40 %) to the formation of total secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from biogenic sources; apparently, their annual emission increased from 1.05 μg m-3 in 2005 to 2.05 μg m-3 in 2010. This study demonstrates that biogenic and, in particular, sBVOC emissions contribute to SOA formation in megacities. However, the main problems regarding air quality in Beijing still originate from anthropogenic activities. Nevertheless, the present survey suggests that in urban plantation programs, the selection of plant species with low cBVOC and sBVOC emission potentials have some possible beneficial effects on urban air quality.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interaction of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) with anthropogenic VOC affects the physicochemical properties of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). We investigated cloud droplet activation (CCN activity), droplet growth kinetics, and hygroscopicity of mixed anthropogenic and biogenic SOA (ABSOA) compared to pure biogenic SOA (BSOA) and pure anthropogenic SOA (ASOA). Selected monoterpenes and aromatics were used as representative precursors of BSOA and ASOA, respectively. We found that BSOA, ASOA, and ABSOA had similar CCN activity despite the higher oxygen to carbon ratio (O/C) of ASOA compared to BSOA and ABSOA. For individual reaction systems, CCN activity increased with the degree of oxidation. Yet, when considering all different types of SOA together, the hygroscopicity parameter, κCCN, did not correlate with O/C. Droplet growth kinetics of BSOA, ASOA, and ABSOA was comparable to that of (NH4)2SO4, which indicates that there was no delay in the water uptake for these SOA in supersaturated conditions. In contrast to CCN activity, the hygroscopicity parameter from hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA) measurement, κHTDMA, of ASOA was distinctively higher (0.09–0.10) than that of BSOA (0.03–0.06), which was attributed to the higher degree of oxidation of ASOA. The ASOA components in mixed ABSOA enhanced aerosol hygroscopicity. Changing the ASOA fraction by adding BVOC to ASOA or vice versa AVOC to BSOA changed the hygroscopicity of aerosol, in line with the change in the degree of oxidation of aerosol. However, the hygroscopicity of ABSOA cannot be described by a simple linear combination of pure BSOA and ASOA systems. This indicates that additional processes, possibly oligomerization, affected the hygroscopicity. Closure analysis of CCN and HTDMA data showed κHTDMA was lower than κCCN by 30–70 %. Better closure was achieved for ASOA compared to BSOA. This discrepancy can be attributed to several reasons. ASOA seemed to have higher solubility in subsaturated conditions and/or higher surface tension at the activation point than that of BSOA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vertical profiles of aerosol optical properties were explored in a case study near the San Pietro Capofiume (SPC) ground station during the PEGASOS Po Valley campaign in the summer of 2012. A Zeppelin NT airship was employed to investigate the effect of the dynamics of the planetary boundary layer at altitudes between ~ 50–800 m above ground. Determined properties included the aerosol size distribution, the hygroscopic growth factor, the effective index of refraction and the light absorption coefficient. The first three parameters were used to retrieve the light scattering coefficient. Simultaneously, direct measurements of both the scattering and absorption coefficient were carried out at the SPC ground station. Additionally, a LIDAR system provided aerosol extinction coefficients for a vertically resolved comparison between in-situ and remote sensing results. First, the airborne results at low altitudes were validated with the ground measurements. Agreement within approximately ±25 and ±20% was found for the dry scattering and absorption coefficient, respectively. The single scattering albedo, ranged between 0.83 to 0.95, indicating the importance of the absorbing particles in the Po Valley region. A clear layering of the atmosphere was observed during the beginning of the flight (until ~ 10 local time) before the mixed layer (ML) was fully developed. Highest extinction coefficients were found at low altitudes, in the new ML, while values in the residual layer, which could be probed at the beginning of the flight at elevated altitudes, were lower. At the end of the flight (after ~ 12 local time) the ML was fully developed, resulting in constant extinction coefficients at all altitudes measured on the Zeppelin NT. LIDAR results captured these dynamic features well and good agreement was found for the extinction coefficients compared to the in-situ results, using fixed LIDAR ratios (LR) between 30 and 70 sr for the altitudes probed with the Zeppelin. These LR are consistent with values for continental aerosol particles that can be expected in this region.
No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Airborne measurements of the aerosol hygroscopic and optical properties as well as chemical composition were performed in the Netherlands and northern Italy on board of a Zeppelin NT airship during the PEGASOS field campaigns in 2012. The vertical changes in aerosol properties during the development of the mixing layer were studied. Hygroscopic growth factors (GF) at 95% relative humidity were determined using the white-light humidified optical particles spectrometer (WHOPS) for dry diameters of 300 and 500 nm particles. These measurements were supplemented by an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and an aethalometer providing information on the aerosol chemical composition. Several vertical profiles between 100 and 700 m a.g. were flown just after sunrise close to the San Pietro Capofiume ground station in the Po Valley, Italy. During the early morning hours the lowest layer (newly developing mixing layer) contained a high nitrate fraction (20%) which was coupled with enhanced hygroscopic growth. In the layer above (residual layer) small nitrate fractions of ~ 2% were measured as well as low GFs. After full mixing of the layers, typically around noon and with increased temperature, the nitrate fraction decreased to 2% at all altitudes and led to similar hygroscopicity values as found in the residual layer. These distinct vertical and temporal changes underline the importance of airborne campaigns to study aerosol properties during the development of the mixed layer. The aerosol was externally mixed with 22 and 67% of the 500 nm particles in the range GF < 1.1 and GF > 1.5, respectively. Contributors to the non-hygroscopic mode in the observed size range are most likely mineral dust and biological material. Mean hygroscopicity parameters (κ) were 0.34, 0.19 and 0.18 for particles in the newly forming mixing layer, residual layer and fully mixed layer, respectively. These results agree well with those from chemical analysis which found values of κ = 0.27, 0.21 and 0.19 for the three layers. The highest κ values in the new mixed layer and lower values in the fully developed mixed layer were additionally confirmed by ground measurements. The aerosol sampled in the Netherlands did not show any altitude dependent characteristics because only the fully mixed layer or the entrainment zone between mixed and the residual layer were probed. The airborne hygroscopicity measurements agreed well with ground based composition measurements. However, the fraction of the hygroscopic particles (GF > 1.5) was enhanced compared to the results from Italy amounting to 82%, while 12% showed low hygroscopicity (GF < 1.1). The mean κ value measured by the WHOPS was 0.28 and therefore considerably higher than the value measured in the fully mixed layer in Italy. The effective index of refraction reached values of 1.43 and 1.42 for the 500 nm particles in Italy and the Netherlands, respectively. This coincides well with literature data for airmasses with predominant organic contribution as was the case during our flights.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We measured a large suite of gas and particle phase multi-functional organic compounds with a Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols (FIGAERO) coupled to a high-resolution time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-CIMS) developed at the University of Washington. The instrument was deployed on environmental simulation chambers to study monoterpene oxidation as a secondary organic aerosol (SOA) source. We focus here on results from experiments utilizing an ionization method most selective towards acids (acetate negative ion proton transfer), but our conclusions are based on more general physical and chemical properties of the SOA. Hundreds of compounds were observed in both gas and particle phases, the latter being detected upon temperature programmed thermal desorption of collected particles. Particulate organic compounds detected by the FIGAERO HR-ToF-CIMS are highly correlated with, and explain at least 25–50% of, the organic aerosol mass measured by an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS). Reproducible multi-modal structures in the thermograms for individual compounds of a given elemental composition reveal a significant SOA mass contribution from large molecular weight organics and/or oligomers (i.e. multi-phase accretion reaction products). Approximately 50% of the HR-ToF-CIMS particle phase mass is associated with compounds having effective vapor pressures 4 or more orders of magnitude lower than commonly measured monoterpene oxidation products. The relative importance of these accretion-type and other extremely low volatility products appears to vary with photochemical conditions. We present a desorption temperature based framework for apportionment of thermogram signals into volatility bins. The volatility-based apportionment greatly improves agreement between measured and modeled gas–particle partitioning for select major and minor components of the SOA, consistent with thermal decomposition during desorption causing the conversion of lower volatility components into the detected higher volatility compounds.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ozone concentrations in the Po Valley of northern Italy often exceed international regulations. As both a source of radicals and an intermediate in the oxidation of most volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde (HCHO) is a useful tracer for the oxidative processing of hydrocarbons that leads to ozone production. We investigate the sources of HCHO in the Po Valley using vertical profile measurements acquired from the airship Zeppelin NT over an agricultural region during the PEGASOS 2012 campaign. Using a 1-D model, the total VOC oxidation rate is examined and discussed in the context of formaldehyde and ozone production in the early morning. While model and measurement discrepancies in OH reactivity are small (on average 3.4 +/- 13 %), HCHO concentrations are underestimated by as much as 1.5 ppb (45 %) in the convective mixed layer. A similar underestimate in HCHO was seen in the 2002-2003 FORMAT Po Valley measurements, though the additional source of HCHO was not identified. Oxidation of unmeasured VOC precursors cannot explain the missing HCHO source, as measured OH reactivity is explained by measured VOCs and their calculated oxidation products. We conclude that local direct emissions from agricultural land are the most likely source of missing HCHO. Model calculations demonstrate that radicals from degradation of this non-photochemical HCHO source increase model ozone production rates by as much as 0.6 ppb h(-1) (12 %) before noon.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been postulated that secondary organic particulate matter plays a pivotal role in the early growth of newly formed particles in forest areas. The recently detected class of extremely low volatile organic compounds (ELVOC) provides the missing organic vapours and possibly contributes a~significant fraction to atmospheric SOA. ELVOC are highly oxidized multifunctional molecules (HOM), formed by sequential rearrangement of peroxy radicals and subsequent O2 addition. Key for efficiency in early particle growth is that formation of HOM is induced by one attack of the oxidant (here O3) and followed by an autoxidation process involving molecular oxygen. Similar mechanisms were recently observed and predicted by quantum mechanical calculations e.g. for isoprene. To assess the atmospheric importance and therewith the potential generality, it is crucial to understand the formation pathway of HOM. To elucidate the formation path of HOM as well as necessary and sufficient structural prerequisites of their formation we studied homologues series of cycloalkenes in comparison to two monoterpenes. We were able to directly observe highly oxidized multifunctional peroxy radicals with 8 or 10 O-atoms by an Atmospheric Pressure interface High Resolution Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer equipped with a NO3−-Chemical Ionization (CI) source. In case of O3 acting as oxidant the starting peroxy radical is formed on the so called vinylhydroperoxide path. HOM peroxy radicals and their termination reactions with other peroxy radicals, including dimerization, allowed for analysing the observed mass spectra and narrow down the likely formation path. As consequence we propose that HOM are multifunctional percarboxylic acids; with carbonyl-, hydroperoxy-, or hydroxy-groups arising from the termination steps. We figured that aldehyde groups facilitate the initial rearrangement steps. In simple molecules like cyloalkenes autoxidation was limited to both terminal C-atoms and two further C-atoms in the respective α-positions. In more complex molecules containing tertiary H-atoms or small constraint rings even higher oxidation degree were possible, either by simple H-shift of the tertiary H-atom or by initialisation of complex ring-opening reactions.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Impacts of soil moisture on de novo monoterpene (MT) emissions from Holm oak, European beech, Scots pine, and Norway spruce were studied in laboratory experiments. The volumetric water content of the soil, Theta, was used as the reference quantity to parameterize the dependency of MT emissions on soil moisture and to characterize the severity of the drought. When Theta dropped from 0.4 m(3) x m(-3) to similar to 0.2 m(3) x m(-3) slight increases of de novo MT emissions were observed but with further progressing drought the emissions decreased to almost zero. In most cases the increases of MT emissions observed under conditions of mild drought were explainable by increases of leaf temperature due to lowered transpirational cooling. When Theta fell below certain thresholds, MT emissions decreased simultaneously with Theta and the relationship between Theta and MT emissions was approximately linear. The thresholds of Theta (0.044-0.19 m(3) x m(-3)) were determined, as well as other parameters required to describe the soil moisture dependence of de novo MT emissions for application in the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature, MEGAN. A factorial approach was found appropriate to describe the impacts of Theta, temperature, and light. Temperature and Theta influenced the emissions largely independently from each other, and, in a similar manner, light intensity and Theta acted independently on de novo MT emissions. The use of Theta as the reference quantity in a factorial approach was tenable in predicting constitutive de novo MT emissions when Theta changed on a time scale of days. Empirical parameterization with Theta as a reference was only unsuccessful when soil moisture changed rapidly
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We used the MALTE-BOX model including near-explicit air chemistry and detailed aerosol dynamics to study the mechanisms of observed new particle formation events in the Jülich Plant Atmosphere Chamber. The modelled and measured H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) concentrations agreed within a factor of two. The modelled total monoterpene concentration was in line with PTR-MS observations, and we provided the distributions of individual isomers of terpenes, when no measurements were available. The aerosol dynamic results supported the hypothesis that H2SO4 is one of the critical compounds in the nucleation process. However, compared to kinetic H2SO4 nucleation, nucleation involving OH oxidation products of monoterpenes showed a better agreement with the measurements, with R2 up to 0.97 between modelled and measured total particle number concentrations. The nucleation coefficient for kinetic H2SO4 nucleation was 2.1 × 10−11 cm3 s−1, while the organic nucleation coefficient was 9.0 × 10−14 cm3 s−1. We classified the VOC oxidation products into two sub-groups including extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). These ELVOCs and SVOCs contributed approximately equally to the particle volume production, whereas only ELVOCs made the smallest particles to grow in size. The model simulations revealed that the chamber walls constitute a major net sink of SVOCs on the first experiment day. However, the net wall SVOC uptake was gradually reduced because of SVOC desorption during the following days. Thus, in order to capture the observed temporal evolution of the particle number size distribution, the model needs to consider reversible gas-wall partitioning.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidation by hydroxyl radical (OH) and ozonolysis are the two major pathways of daytime biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) oxidation and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. In this study, we investigated the particle formation of several common monoterpenes (α-pinene, β-pinene and limonene) by OH-dominated oxidation, which has seldom been investigated. OH oxidation experiments were carried out in the SAPHIR (Simulation of Atmospheric PHotochemistry In a large Reaction) chamber in Jülich, Germany, at low NOx (0.01 ~ 1 ppbV) and low ozone (O3) concentration (< 20 ppbV). OH concentration and total OH reactivity (kOH) were measured directly, and through this the overall reaction rate of total organics with OH in each reaction system was quantified. Multi-generation reaction process, particle growth, new particle formation (NPF), particle yield and chemical composition were analyzed and compared with that of monoterpene ozonolysis. Multi-generation products were found to be important in OH-dominated SOA formation. The relative role of functionalization and fragmentation in the reaction process of OH oxidation was analyzed by examining the particle mass and the particle size as a function of OH dose. We developed a novel method which quantitatively links particle growth to the reaction rate of OH with total organics in a reaction system. This method was also used to analyze the evolution of functionalization and fragmentation of organics in the particle formation by OH oxidation. It shows that functionalization of organics was dominant in the beginning of the reaction (within two lifetimes of the monoterpene) and fragmentation started to play an important role after that. We compared particle formation from OH oxidation with that from pure ozonolysis. In individual experiments, growth rates of the particle size did not necessarily correlate with the reaction rate of monoterpene with OH and O3. Comparing the size growth rates at the similar reaction rates of monoterpene with OH or O3 indicates that, generally, OH oxidation and ozonolysis had similar efficiency in particle growth. The SOA yield of α-pinene and limonene by ozonolysis was higher than that of OH oxidation. Aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) shows SOA elemental composition from OH oxidation follows a slope shallower than −1 in the O / C vs. H / C diagram, also known as Van Krevelen diagram, indicating that oxidation proceeds without significant loss of hydrogen. SOA from OH oxidation had higher H / C ratios than SOA from ozonolysis. In ozonolysis, a process with significant hydrogen loss seemed to play an important role in SOA formation.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a novel inlet that allows measurement of both gas and particle molecular composition when coupled to mass spectrometric, chromatographic, or optical sensors: the Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols (FIGAERO). The design goals for the FIGAERO are to allow unperturbed observation of ambient air while simultaneously analyzing gases and collecting particulate matter on a Teflon® (hereafter Teflon) filter via an entirely separate sampling port. The filter is analyzed periodically by the same sensor on hourly or faster timescales using temperature-programmed thermal desorption. We assess the performance of the FIGAERO by coupling it to a high-resolution time-of-flight chemical-ionization mass spectrometer (HRToF-CIMS) in laboratory chamber studies of α-pinene oxidation and field measurements at a boreal forest location. Low instrument backgrounds give detection limits of ppt or lower for compounds in the gas-phase and in the picogram m-3 range for particle phase compounds. The FIGAERO-HRToF-CIMS provides molecular information about both gases and particle composition on the 1 Hz and hourly timescales, respectively for hundreds of compounds. The FIGAERO thermal desorptions are highly reproducible (better than 10%), allowing a calibrated assessment of the effective volatility of desorbing compounds and the role of thermal decomposition during the desorption process. We show that the often multi-modal desorption thermograms arising from secondary organic aerosol (SOA) provide additional insights into molecular composition and/or particle morphology, and exhibit changes with changes in SOA formation or aging pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chemical and physical properties of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formed by the photochemical degradation of biogenic and anthropogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) are yet poorly constrained. The evolution of the complex refractive index (RI) of SOA, formed from purely biogenic VOC and mixtures of biogenic and anthropogenic VOC was studied over a diurnal cycle in the SAPHIR photochemical outdoor chamber in Jülich, Germany. The correlation of RI with SOA chemical and physical properties such as oxidation level and volatility was examined. The RI was retrieved by a newly developed broadband cavity enhanced spectrometer for aerosol optical extinction measurements in the near UV spectral region (360 to 420 nm). Chemical composition and volatility of the particles were monitored by a high resolution time of flight aerosol mass spectrometer, and a volatility tandem differential mobility analyzer. SOA was formed by ozonolysis of either (i) a mixture of biogenic VOC (α-pinene and limonene), (ii) biogenic VOC mixture with subsequent addition of an anthropogenic VOC (p-xylene-d10), or (iii) a mixture of biogenic and anthropogenic VOC. The SOA aged by ozone / OH reactions up to 29.5 h was found to be non-absorbing in all cases. The SOA with p-xylene-d10 showed an increase of the scattering component of the RI correlated with an increase of the O / C ratio and with an increase in the SOA density. There was a greater increase in the scattering component of the RI when the SOA was produced from the mixture of biogenic VOCs and anthropogenic VOC than from the sequential addition of the VOCs after the approximate same ageing time. The increase of the scattering component was inversely correlated with the SOA volatility. Two RI retrievals determined for the pure biogenic SOA showed a constant RI for up to 5 h of ageing. Mass spectral characterization shows the three types of the SOA formed in this study have significant amount of semivolatile components. The influence of anthropogenic VOCs on the oxygenated organic aerosol, and the atmospheric implications are discussed.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Zeppelin NT airship is an airborne platform capable of flying at low speed throughout the entire planetary boundary layer (PBL) and an ideal platform for the study of chemical processes in the lowest atmospheric layers with high spatial resolution. Secondary atmospheric aerosols have a long lifetime, up to several days, so their observation at a location can result not only from local production but also from transport processes. The aim of this project is to characterize the origin (local production or transported) of the observed aerosols as well as their precursors. We analyze: ● one North-South transect flight (between the Apennin and San Pietro Capofiume), and ● one vertical profiling flight (near the super-site San Pietro Capofiume) to determine the regions which contributed to the air-mass under observation. The analysis is done using the EURopean Air pollution Dispersion and Inverse Modeling (EURAD-IM) system, driven by meteorology given by the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). The method applied follows: 1. A forward run of the chemistry transport model is performed, until a time after the observations. 2. Then, a backward (adjoint) run is performed, in which, the evolution of artificial perturbations (discrepancy between model and observation at the time/location of the observations) are tracked backwards in time. Methodology Introduction Back-plume schematic Comparison: model-observations Observations During the height profiling flights of the south-bound PEGASOS campaign, increased mass concentration of nitrate and ammonium was observed at narrow height levels. Back-plume examples for 20-21.06.2012 The model performance is being checked with respect to vertical profiling performed in 20.06.2012: ● In mixed atmospheric conditions, flight F028 (8:44-12:29UTC), no variance is observed with height, NOX and O3 appear slightly overestimated and underestimated respectively. ● In not mixed atmospheric conditions, flight F027 (4:30-8:25UTC), NOX is underestimated (possibly weak ground emissions taken from emission inventories), while the modeled O3 meets the correct mean value but shows smaller amplitude with respect to height variations. Summary and Acknowledgment 12-hour back-plumes were performed for the 20 and 21.06.2012. The adjoint concentration represents the area that influences the zeppelin observations. The F027 and F029 flight tracks have been used. ● An effort is done to identify the sources of observed trace species. ● A modified version of the chemistry transport model EURAD-IM is developed accounting for back-plumes (identical to adjoint model calculations). ● Using the method of back-plumes one can follow the adjoint concentration along the wind path and take into account gas and aerosol chemistry ● In order to succeed, first the model-observation discrepancies, during the planetary boundary layer evolution, should be explained. We acknowledge the financial support by the EU-FP7 project PEGASOS (project no.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of nitrogen oxides (NOx Combining double low line NO + NO2) on new particle formation (NPF) and on photochemical ozone production from real plant volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions was studied in a laboratory setup. At high NOx conditions ([BVOC]/[NOx] < 7, [NOx] > 23 ppb) new particle formation was suppressed. Instead, photochemical ozone formation was observed resulting in higher hydroxyl radical (OH) and lower nitrogen monoxide (NO) concentrations. When [NO] was reduced back to levels below 1 ppb by OH reactions, NPF was observed. Adding high amounts of NOx caused NPF to be slowed by orders of magnitude compared to analogous experiments at low NOx conditions ([NOx] ~ 300 ppt), although OH concentrations were higher. Varying NO2 photolysis enabled showing that NO was responsible for suppression of NPF. This suggests that peroxy radicals are involved in NPF. The rates of NPF and photochemical ozone production were related by power law dependence with an exponent approaching -2. This exponent indicated that the overall peroxy radical concentration must have been similar when NPF occurred. Thus, permutation reactions of first-generation peroxy radicals cannot be the rate limiting step in NPF from monoterpene oxidation. It was concluded that permutation reactions of higher generation peroxy-radical-like intermediates limit the rate of new particle formation.
In contrast to the strong effects on the particle numbers, the formation of particle mass was substantially less sensitive to NOx concentrations. If at all, yields were reduced by about an order of magnitude only at very high NOx concentrations.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from mixed anthropogenic and biogenic precursors has been studied exposing reaction mixtures to natural sunlight in the SAPHIR chamber in Jülich, Germany. In this study aromatic compounds served as examples of anthropogenic volatile organic compound (VOC) and a mixture of α-pinene and limonene as an example for biogenic VOC. Several experiments with exclusively aromatic precursors were performed to establish a relationship between yield and organic aerosol mass loading for the atmospheric relevant range of aerosol loads of 0.01 to 10 μg m−3. The yields (0.5 to 9%) were comparable to previous data and further used for the detailed evaluation of the mixed biogenic and anthropogenic experiments. For the mixed experiments a number of different oxidation schemes were addressed. The reactivity, the sequence of addition, and the amount of the precursors influenced the SOA properties. Monoterpene oxidation products, including carboxylic acids and dimer esters were identified in the aged aerosol at levels comparable to ambient air. OH radicals were measured by Laser Induced Fluorescence, which allowed for establishing relations of aerosol properties and composition to the experimental OH dose. Furthermore, the OH measurements in combination with the derived yields for aromatic SOA enabled application of a simplified model to calculate the chemical turnover of the aromatic precursor and corresponding anthropogenic contribution to the mixed aerosol. The estimated anthropogenic contributions were ranging from small (≈8%) up to significant fraction (>50%) providing a suitable range to study the effect of aerosol composition on the aerosol volatility (volume fraction remaining (VFR) at 343 K: 0.86–0.94). The aromatic aerosol had higher oxygen to carbon ratio O/C and was less volatile than the biogenic fraction. However, in order to produce significant amount of aromatic SOA the reaction mixtures needed a higher OH dose that also increased O/C and provided a less volatile aerosol. The SOA yields, O/C, and f44 (the mass fraction of CO2+ ions in the mass spectra which can be considered as a measure of carboxylic groups) in the mixed photo-chemical experiments could be described as linear combinations of the corresponding properties of the pure systems. For VFR there was in addition an enhancement effect, making the mixed aerosol significantly less volatile than what could be predicted from the pure systems. A strong positive correlation was found between changes in volatility and O/C with the exception during dark hours where the SOA volatility decreased while O/C did not change significantly. Thus, this change in volatility under dark conditions as well as the anthropogenic enhancement is due to chemical or morphological changes not affecting O/C.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics