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Title: Evaporation Kinetics of Laboratory Generated Secondary Organic Aerosols at Elevated Relative Humidity

Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) dominate atmospheric organic aerosols that affect climate, air quality, and health. Recent studies indicate that, contrary to previously held assumptions, at low relative humidity (RH) these particles are semi-solid and evaporate orders of magnitude slower than expected. Elevated relative humidity has the potential to affect significantly formation, properties, and atmospheric evolution of SOA particles. Here we present a study of the effect of RH on the room-temperature evaporation kinetics of SOA particles formed by ozonolysis of α-pinene and limonene. Experiments were carried out on SOA particles generated, evaporated, and aged at 0%, 50% and 90% RH. We find that in all cases evaporation begins with a relatively fast phase, during which 30% to 70% of the particle mass evaporates in 2 hours, followed by a much slower evaporation rate. Evaporation kinetics at 0% and 50% RH are nearly the same, while at 90% RH a slightly larger fraction evaporates. In all cases, aging the particles prior to inducing evaporation reduces the evaporative losses, with aging at elevated RH leading to more significant effect. In all cases, SOA evaporation is nearly size-independent, providing direct evidence that oligomers play a crucial role in determining the evaporation kinetics.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
KP1704020; KC0302020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science & Technology, 49(1):243-249
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States