Browsing by Subject "OLIGOMER FORMATION"

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  • Mohr, Claudia; Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe D.; Yli-Juuti, Taina; Heitto, Arto; Lutz, Anna; Hallquist, Mattias; D'Ambro, Emma L.; Rissanen, Matti P.; Hao, Liqing; Schobesberger, Siegfried; Kulmala, Markku; Mauldin III, Roy L.; Makkonen, Ulla; Sipilä, Mikko; Petäjä, Tuukka; Thornton, Joel A. (2017)
    We present ambient observations of dimeric monoterpene oxidation products (C16-20HyO6-9) in gas and particle phases in the boreal forest in Finland in spring 2013 and 2014, detected with a chemical ionization mass spectrometer with a filter inlet for gases and aerosols employing acetate and iodide as reagent ions. These are among the first online dual-phase observations of such dimers in the atmosphere. Estimated saturation concentrations of 10(-15) to 10(-6)mu gm(-3) (based on observed thermal desorptions and group-contribution methods) and measured gas-phase concentrations of 10(-3) to 10(-2)mu gm(-3) (similar to 10(6)-10(7)moleculescm(-3)) corroborate a gas-phase formation mechanism. Regular new particle formation (NPF) events allowed insights into the potential role dimers may play for atmospheric NPF and growth. The observationally constrained Model for Acid-Base chemistry in NAnoparticle Growth indicates a contribution of similar to 5% to early stage particle growth from the similar to 60 gaseous dimer compounds. Plain Language Summary Atmospheric aerosol particles influence climate and air quality. We present new insights into how emissions of volatile organic compounds from trees are transformed in the atmosphere to contribute to the formation and growth of aerosol particles. We detected for the first time over a forest, a group of organic molecules, known to grow particles, in the gas phase at levels far higher than expected. Previous measurements had only measured them in the particles. This finding provides guidance on how models of aerosol formation and growth should describe their appearance and fate in the atmosphere.
  • Riva, Matthieu; Heikkinen, Liine; Bell, David M.; Peräkylä, Otso; Zha, Qiaozhi; Rissanen, Matti; Imre, D.; Petäjä, Tuukka; Thornton, Joel; Zelenyuk, Alla; Ehn, Mikael (2019)
    Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is known to impact both climate and air quality, yet molecular-level composition measurements remain challenging, hampering our understanding of SOA formation and evolution. Here, we reveal the importance of underestimated reaction pathways for the (trans) formation of SOA from monoterpenes, one of the largest SOA precursors globally. Utilizing mass spectrometric techniques to achieve a comprehensive characterization of molecular-level changes in the SOA, we were able to link the appearance of high-molecular weight (HMW) organic molecules to the concentration and level of neutralization of particulate sulfate. Interestingly, this oligomerization coincided with a decrease of highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs). Our findings highlight the role of particle-phase processing, and the underestimated importance of sulfate aerosol for monoterpene-SOA formation. The observations of these processes directly in the atmosphere reveal the need to account for the formation of HMW oligomers to fully understand the physicochemical properties of organic aerosol.
  • Paasonen, Pauli; Peltola, Maija; Kontkanen, Jenni; Junninen, Heikki; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Kulmala, Markku (2018)
    Growth of aerosol particles to sizes at which they can act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) is a crucial factor in estimating the current and future impacts of aerosol-cloud-climate interactions. Growth rates (GRs) are typically determined for particles with diameters (d(P)) smaller than 40 nm immediately after a regional new particle formation (NPF) event. These growth rates are often taken as representatives for the particle growth to CCN sizes (d(P) > 50-100 nm). In modelling frameworks, the concentration of the condensable vapours causing the growth is typically calculated with steady state assumptions, where the condensation sink (CS) is the only loss term for the vapours. Additionally, the growth to CCN sizes is represented with the condensation of extremely low-volatility vapours and gas-particle partitioning of semi-volatile vapours. Here, we use a novel automatic method to determine growth rates from below 10 nm to hundreds of nanometres from a 20-year-long particle size distribution (PSD) data set in boreal forest. With this method, we are able to detect growth rates also at times other than immediately after a NPF event. We show that the GR increases with an increasing oxidation rate of monoterpenes, which is closely coupled with the ambient temperature. Based on our analysis, the oxidation reactions of monoterpenes with ozone, hydroxyl radical and nitrate radical all are capable of producing vapours that contribute to the particle growth in the studied size ranges. We find that GR increases with particle diameter, resulting in up to 3-fold increases in GRs for particles with d(P) similar to 100 nm in comparison to those with d(P) similar to 10 nm. We use a single particle model to show that this increase in GR can be explained with aerosol-phase reactions, in which semi-volatile vapours form non-volatile dimers. Finally, our analysis reveals that the GR of particles with d(P) <100 nm is not limited by the condensation sink, even though the GR of larger particles is. Our findings suggest that in the boreal continental environment, the formation of CCN from NPF or sub-100 nm emissions is more effective than previously thought and that the formation of CCN is not as strongly self-limiting a process as the previous estimates have suggested.