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  • Massoli, Paola; Stark, Harald; Canagaratna, Manjula R.; Krechmer, Jordan E.; Xu, Lu; Ng, Nga L.; Mauldin, Roy L.; Yan, Chao; Kimmel, Joel; Misztal, Pawel K.; Jimenez, Jose L.; Jayne, John T.; Worsnop, Douglas R. (2018)
    We present measurements of highly oxidized multifunctional molecules (HOMs) detected in the gas phase using a high-resolution time-of flight chemical ionization mass spectrometer with nitrate reagent ion (NO3- CIMS). The measurements took place during the 2013 Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS 2013) at a forest site in Alabama, where emissions were dominated by biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). Primary BVOC emissions were represented by isoprene mixed with various terpenes, making it a unique sampling location compared to previous NO3- CIMS deployments in monoterpene-dominated environments. During SOAS 2013, the NO3- CIMS detected HOMs with oxygen-to-carbon (O:C) ratios between 0.5 and 1.4 originating from both isoprene (C-5) and monoterpenes (C-10) as well as hundreds of additional HOMs with carbon numbers between C-3 and C-20. We used positive matrix factorization (PMF) to deconvolve the complex data set and extract information about classes of HOMs with similar temporal trends. This analysis revealed three isoprene-dominated and three monoterpene-dominated PMF factors. We observed significant amounts of isoprene- and monoterpene-derived organic nitrates (ONs) in most factors. The abundant presence of ONs was consistent with previous studies that have highlighted the importance of NOx-driven chemistry at the site. One of the isoprene-dominated factors had a strong correlation with SO2 plumes likely advected from nearby coal-fired power plants and was dominated by an isoprene derived ON (C5H10N2O8). These results indicate that anthropogenic emissions played a significant role in the formation of low volatility compounds from BVOC emissions in the region.
  • Lambe, Andrew; Massoli, Paola; Zhang, Xuan; Canagaratna, Manjula; Nowak, John; Daube, Conner; Yan, Chao; Nie, Wei; Onasch, Timothy; Jayne, John; Kolb, Charles; Davidovits, Paul; Worsnop, Douglas; Brune, William (2017)
    Oxidation flow reactors that use low-pressure mercury lamps to produce hydroxyl (OH) radicals are an emerging technique for studying the oxidative aging of organic aerosols. Here, ozone (O-3) is photolyzed at 254 nm to produce O(D-1) radicals, which react with water vapor to produce OH. However, the need to use parts-per-million levels of O-3 hinders the ability of oxidation flow reactors to simulate NOx-dependent secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation pathways. Simple addition of nitric oxide (NO) results in fast conversion of NOx (NO + NO2) to nitric acid (HNO3), making it impossible to sustain NOx at levels that are sufficient to compete with hydroperoxy (HO2) radicals as a sink for organic peroxy (RO2) radicals. We developed a new method that is well suited to the characterization of NOx-dependent SOA formation pathways in oxidation flow reactors. NO and NO2 are produced via the reaction O(D-1) + N2O -> 2NO, followed by the reaction NO + O-3 -> NO2 + O-2. Laboratory measurements coupled with photochemical model simulations suggest that O(D-1) + N2O reactions can be used to systematically vary the relative branching ratio of RO2 + NO reactions relative to RO2 + HO2 and/or RO2 + RO2 reactions over a range of conditions relevant to atmospheric SOA formation. We demonstrate proof of concept using high-resolution time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-CIMS) measurements with nitrate (NO3-) reagent ion to detect gas-phase oxidation products of isoprene and alpha-pinene previously observed in NOx-influenced environments and in laboratory chamber experiments.
  • Rastak, N.; Pajunoja, A.; Navarro, J. C. Acosta; Ma, J.; Song, M.; Partridge, D. G.; Kirkevag, A.; Leong, Y.; Hu, W. W.; Taylor, N. F.; Lambe, A.; Cerully, K.; Bougiatioti, A.; Liu, P.; Krejci, R.; Petäjä, T.; Percival, C.; Davidovits, P.; Worsnop, D. R.; Ekman, A. M. L.; Nenes, A.; Martin, S.; Jimenez, J. L.; Collins, D. R.; Topping, D. O.; Bertram, A. K.; Zuend, A.; Virtanen, A.; Riipinen, I. (2017)
    A large fraction of atmospheric organic aerosol (OA) originates from natural emissions that are oxidized in the atmosphere to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Isoprene (IP) and monoterpenes (MT) are the most important precursors of SOA originating from forests. The climate impacts from OA are currently estimated through parameterizations of water uptake that drastically simplify the complexity of OA. We combine laboratory experiments, thermodynamic modeling, field observations, and climate modeling to (1) explain the molecular mechanisms behind RH-dependent SOA water-uptake with solubility and phase separation; (2) show that laboratory data on IP- and MT-SOA hygroscopicity are representative of ambient data with corresponding OA source profiles; and (3) demonstrate the sensitivity of the modeled aerosol climate effect to assumed OA water affinity. We conclude that the commonly used single-parameter hygroscopicity framework can introduce significant error when quantifying the climate effects of organic aerosol. The results highlight the need for better constraints on the overall global OA mass loadings and its molecular composition, including currently underexplored anthropogenic and marine OA sources. Plain Language Summary The interaction of airborne particulate matter ("aerosols") with water is of critical importance for processes governing climate, precipitation, and public health. It also modulates the delivery and bioavailability of nutrients to terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. We present a microphysical explanation to the humidity-dependent water uptake behavior of organic aerosol, which challenges the highly simplified theoretical descriptions used in, e.g., present climate models. With the comprehensive analysis of laboratory data using molecular models, we explain the microphysical behavior of the aerosol over the range of humidity observed in the atmosphere, in a way that has never been done before. We also demonstrate the presence of these phenomena in the ambient atmosphere from data collected in the field. We further show, using two state-of-the-art climate models, that misrepresenting the water affinity of atmospheric organic aerosol can lead to significant biases in the estimates of the anthropogenic influence on climate.
  • Shrivastava, Manish; Cappa, Christopher D.; Fan, Jiwen; Goldstein, Allen H.; Guenther, Alex B.; Jimenez, Jose L.; Kuang, Chongai; Laskin, Alexander; Martin, Scot T.; Ng, Nga Lee; Petäjä, Tuukka; Pierce, Jeffrey R.; Rasch, Philip J.; Roldin, Pontus; Seinfeld, John H.; Shilling, John; Smith, James N.; Thornton, Joel A.; Volkamer, Rainer; Wang, Jian; Worsnop, Douglas R.; Zaveri, Rahul A.; Zelenyuk, Alla; Zhang, Qi (2017)
    Anthropogenic emissions and land use changes have modified atmospheric aerosol concentrations and size distributions over time. Understanding preindustrial conditions and changes in organic aerosol due to anthropogenic activities is important because these features (1) influence estimates of aerosol radiative forcing and (2) can confound estimates of the historical response of climate to increases in greenhouse gases. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA), formed in the atmosphere by oxidation of organic gases, represents a major fraction of global submicron-sized atmospheric organic aerosol. Over the past decade, significant advances in understanding SOA properties and formation mechanisms have occurred through measurements, yet current climate models typically do not comprehensively include all important processes. This review summarizes some of the important developments during the past decade in understanding SOA formation. We highlight the importance of some processes that influence the growth of SOA particles to sizes relevant for clouds and radiative forcing, including formation of extremely low volatility organics in the gas phase, acid-catalyzed multiphase chemistry of isoprene epoxydiols, particle-phase oligomerization, and physical properties such as volatility and viscosity. Several SOA processes highlighted in this review are complex and interdependent and have nonlinear effects on the properties, formation, and evolution of SOA. Current global models neglect this complexity and nonlinearity and thus are less likely to accurately predict the climate forcing of SOA and project future climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases. Efforts are also needed to rank the most influential processes and nonlinear process-related interactions, so that these processes can be accurately represented in atmospheric chemistry-climate models. Plain Language Summary Secondary organic aerosol (SOA), formed in the atmosphere by oxidation of organic gases, often represents a major fraction of global submicron-sized atmospheric organic aerosol. Myriad processes affect SOA formation, several of which relate to interactions between natural biogenic emissions and predominantly anthropogenic species such as SO2, NOx, sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium. Many of these key processes are nonlinear and can be synergistic or act to compensate each other in terms of climate forcing. Current atmospheric chemistry-climate models mostly do not treat these processes. We highlight a number of process-level mechanisms related to the interactions between anthropogenic and biogenic SOA precursors, for which the corresponding impacts on the radiative effects of SOA need to be investigated in atmospheric chemistry-climate models. Ultimately, climate models need to capture enough important features of the chemical and dynamic evolution of SOA, in terms of both aerosol number and aerosol mass, as a function of atmospheric variables and anthropogenic perturbations to reasonably predict the spatial and temporal distributions of SOA. A better understanding of SOA formation mechanisms and physical properties is needed to improve estimates of the extent to which anthropogenic emissions and land use changes have modified global aerosol concentrations and size distributions since preindustrial times.
  • Moschos, Vaios; Kumar, Nivedita K.; Dällenbach, Kaspar; Baltensperger, Urs; Prevot, Andre S. H.; El Haddad, Imad (2018)
    The impact of brown carbon (BrC) on climate has been widely acknowledged but remains uncertain, because either its contribution to absorption is being ignored in most climate models or the associated mixed emission sources and atmospheric lifetime are not accounted for. In this work, we propose positive matrix factorization as a framework to apportion the contributions of individual primary and secondary organic aerosol (OA) source components of BrC absorption, by combining long-term aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) data with concurrent ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy measurements. The former feature time-depend ent factor contributions to OA mass, and the latter consist of wavelength-dependent absorption coefficients. Using this approach for a full-year case study, we estimate for the first time the mass absorption efficiency (MAE) of major light-absorbing water soluble OA components in the atmosphere. We show that secondary biogenic OA contributes negligibly to absorption despite dominating the mass concentration in the summer. In contrast, primary and secondary wood burning emissions are highly absorbing up to 500 nm. The approach allowed us to constrain their MAE within a confined range consistent with previous laboratory work, which can be used in climate models to estimate the impact of BrC from these emissions on the overall absorption.