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Title: High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry and Molecular Characterization of Aqueous Photochemistry Products of Common Types of Secondary Organic Aerosols

A significant fraction of atmospheric organic compounds is predominantly found in condensed phases, such as aerosol particles and cloud droplets. Many of these compounds are photolabile and can degrade through direct photolysis or indirect photooxidation processes on time scales that are comparable to the typical lifetimes of aqueous droplets (hours) and particles (days). This paper presents a systematic investigation of the molecular level composition and the extent of aqueous photochemical processing in different types of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from biogenic and anthropogenic precursors including α-pinene, β-pinene, β-myrcene, d- limonene, α-humulene, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene, and guaiacol, oxidized by ozone (to simulate a remote atmosphere) or by OH in the presence of NOx (to simulate an urban atmosphere). Chamber- and flow tube-generated SOA samples were collected, extracted in a methanol/water solution, and photolyzed for 1 h under identical irradiation conditions. In these experiments, the irradiation was equivalent to about 3-8 h of exposure to the sun in its zenith. The molecular level composition of the dissolved SOA was probed before and after photolysis with direct-infusion electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HR-MS). The mass spectra of unphotolyzed SOA generated by ozone oxidation of monoterpenes showed qualitatively similar features, and contained largely overlapping subsets ofmore » identified compounds. The mass spectra of OH/NOx generated SOA had more unique visual appearance, and indicated a lower extent of products overlap. Furthermore, the fraction of nitrogen containing species (organonitrates and nitroaromatics) was highly sensitive to the SOA precursor. These observations suggest that attribution of high-resolution mass spectra in field SOA samples to specific SOA precursors should be more straightforward under OH/NOx oxidation conditions compared to the ozone driven oxidation. Comparison of the SOA constituents before and after photolysis showed the tendency to reduce the average number of atoms in the SOA compounds without a significant effect on the overall O/C and H/C ratios. SOA prepared by OH/NOx photooxidation of 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene and guaiacol were relatively resilient to photolysis despite being the most light-absorbing. The composition of SOA prepared by ozonolysis of monoterpenes changed more significantly as a result of the photolysis. The results indicate that aqueous photolysis of dissolved SOA compounds in cloud/fog water can occur in a number of SOA, and on atmospherically relevant time scales. However, the extent of change depends on the specific type of SOA.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
44638; 47915; KP1704020; KC0302020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 119(11):2594-2606
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory