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Title: Light absorption by secondary organic aerosol from α-pinene: Effects of oxidants, seed aerosol acidity, and relative humidity

Abstract

It is well known that light absorption from dust and black carbon aerosols has a warming effect on climate while light scattering from sulfate, nitrate, and sea salt aerosols has a cooling effect. However, there are large uncertainties associated with light absorption and scattering by different types of organic aerosols, especially in the near-UV and UV spectral regions. In this paper, we present the results from a systematic laboratory study focused on measuring light absorption by secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) generated from dark α-pinene + O 3 and α-pinene + NO x + O 3 systems in the presence of neutral and acidic sulfate seed aerosols. Light absorption was monitored using photoacoustic spectrometers at four different wavelengths: 355, 405, 532, and 870 nm. Significant light absorption at 355 and 405 nm was observed for the SOA formed from α-pinene + O 3 + NO 3 system only in the presence of highly acidic sulfate seed aerosols under dry conditions. In contrast, no absorption was observed when the relative humidity was elevated to greater than 27% or in the presence of neutral sulfate seed aerosols. Organic nitrates in the SOA formed in the presence of neutral sulfate seed aerosols were foundmore » to be nonabsorbing, while the light-absorbing compounds are speculated to be aldol condensation oligomers with nitroxy organosulfate groups that are formed in highly acidic sulfate aerosols. Finally and overall, these results suggest that dark α-pinene + O 3 and α-pinene + NO x + O 3 systems do not form light-absorbing SOA under typical atmospheric conditions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [4]
  1. Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA; Now at R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Winston-Salem North Carolina USA
  2. Department of Physics, University of Nevada Reno, Nevada System of Higher Education, Reno Nevada USA; Now at Desert Research Institute, Nevada System of Higher Education, Reno Nevada USA
  3. Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA
  4. Department of Physics, University of Nevada Reno, Nevada System of Higher Education, Reno Nevada USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1130714
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-94029
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X; KP1701000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres; Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 20
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Song, Chen, Gyawali, Madhu, Zaveri, Rahul A., Shilling, John E., and Arnott, W. Patrick. Light absorption by secondary organic aerosol from α-pinene: Effects of oxidants, seed aerosol acidity, and relative humidity. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50767.
Song, Chen, Gyawali, Madhu, Zaveri, Rahul A., Shilling, John E., & Arnott, W. Patrick. Light absorption by secondary organic aerosol from α-pinene: Effects of oxidants, seed aerosol acidity, and relative humidity. United States. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50767.
Song, Chen, Gyawali, Madhu, Zaveri, Rahul A., Shilling, John E., and Arnott, W. Patrick. Fri . "Light absorption by secondary organic aerosol from α-pinene: Effects of oxidants, seed aerosol acidity, and relative humidity". United States. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50767.
@article{osti_1130714,
title = {Light absorption by secondary organic aerosol from α-pinene: Effects of oxidants, seed aerosol acidity, and relative humidity},
author = {Song, Chen and Gyawali, Madhu and Zaveri, Rahul A. and Shilling, John E. and Arnott, W. Patrick},
abstractNote = {It is well known that light absorption from dust and black carbon aerosols has a warming effect on climate while light scattering from sulfate, nitrate, and sea salt aerosols has a cooling effect. However, there are large uncertainties associated with light absorption and scattering by different types of organic aerosols, especially in the near-UV and UV spectral regions. In this paper, we present the results from a systematic laboratory study focused on measuring light absorption by secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) generated from dark α-pinene + O3 and α-pinene + NOx + O3 systems in the presence of neutral and acidic sulfate seed aerosols. Light absorption was monitored using photoacoustic spectrometers at four different wavelengths: 355, 405, 532, and 870 nm. Significant light absorption at 355 and 405 nm was observed for the SOA formed from α-pinene + O3 + NO3 system only in the presence of highly acidic sulfate seed aerosols under dry conditions. In contrast, no absorption was observed when the relative humidity was elevated to greater than 27% or in the presence of neutral sulfate seed aerosols. Organic nitrates in the SOA formed in the presence of neutral sulfate seed aerosols were found to be nonabsorbing, while the light-absorbing compounds are speculated to be aldol condensation oligomers with nitroxy organosulfate groups that are formed in highly acidic sulfate aerosols. Finally and overall, these results suggest that dark α-pinene + O3 and α-pinene + NOx + O3 systems do not form light-absorbing SOA under typical atmospheric conditions.},
doi = {10.1002/jgrd.50767},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 20,
volume = 118,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Oct 25 00:00:00 EDT 2013},
month = {Fri Oct 25 00:00:00 EDT 2013}
}
  • Gas-particle partitioning theory is widely used in atmospheric models to predict organic aerosol loadings. This theory predicts that secondary organic aerosol (SOA) yield of an oxidized VOC product will increase as the mass loading of preexisting organic aerosol increases. In a previous study, we showed that the presence of model hydrophobic primary organic aerosol (POA) had no detectable effect on the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) yields from ozonolysis of {alpha}-pinene, suggesting that the condensing SOA compounds form a separate phase from the preexisting POA. However, non-polar, hydrophobic POA may gradually become polar and hydrophilic as it undergoes oxidative aging whilemore » POA formed from biomass burning is already somewhat polar and hydrophilic. In this study, we investigate the effects of model hydrophilic POA such as fulvic acid, adipic acid and citric acid on the gas-particle partitioning of SOA from {alpha}-pinene ozonolysis. The results show that only citric acid seed significantly enhances the absorption of {alpha}-pinene SOA into the particle-phase. The other two POA seed particles have negligible effect on the {alpha}-pinene SOA yields, suggesting that {alpha}-pinene SOA forms a well-mixed organic aerosol phase with citric acid while a separate phase with adipic acid and fulvic acid. This finding highlights the need to improve the thermodynamics treatment of organics in current aerosol models that simply lump all hydrophilic organic species into a single phase, thereby potentially introducing an erroneous sensitivity of SOA mass to emitted POA.« less
  • Semi-empirical secondary organic aerosol (SOA) models typically assume a well-mixed organic aerosol phase even in the presence of hydrophobic primary organic aerosols (POA). This assumption significantly enhances the modeled SOA yields as additional organic mass is made available to absorb greater amounts of oxidized secondary organic gases than otherwise. We investigate the applicability of this critical assumption by measuring SOA yields from ozonolysis of α-pinene (a major biogenic SOA precursor) in a smog chamber in the absence and in the presence of dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and lubricating oil seed aerosol. These particles serve as surrogates for urban hydrophobic POA. Themore » results show that these POA did not enhance the SOA yields. If these results are found to apply to other biogenic SOA precursors, then the semi-empirical models used in many global models would predict significantly less biogenic SOA mass and display reduced sensitivity to anthropogenic POA emissions than previously thought.« less
  • Functional group composition of particles produced in smog chambers are examined using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) with near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy in order to identify characteristic spectral signatures for secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Glyoxal uptake studies showed absorption for mainly alkyl, carbon-nitrogen (C-N), and carboxylic carbonyl groups. The SOA formed from the photooxidation of α-pinene (with and without isoprene) showed stronger absorptions for alkyl and carbonyl groups than the glyoxal studies. The mass ratio of carbonyl to acid group was larger in α-pinene-only experiments relative to the mixed α-pinene-isoprene experiments. The chamber particle spectra were comparedmore » with the ambient particle spectra from multiple field campaigns to understand the potential SOA sources. One hundred nineteen particles from six field campaigns had spectral features that were considered similar to the chamber-SOA particles: MILAGRO-2006 (9 particles), VOCALS-2008 (42 particles), Whistler-2008 (22 particles), Scripps Pier-2009 (9 particles), Bakersfield-2010 (25 particles), and Whistler-2010 (12 particles). These similarities with SOA formed from glyoxal, α-pinene (with and without isoprene), 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, and limonene provide spectroscopic evidence of SOA products from these precursors in ambient particles.« less
  • 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 andmore » particle phases, the latter being detected by 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 high 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.« less
    Cited by 28
  • Formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) from biogenic volatile organic compounds 13 (BVOC) occurs via O 3 - and OH-initiated reactions during the day and reactions with NO 3 during the 14 night. We explored the effect of these three oxidation conditions on the molecular composition and 15 aqueous photochemistry of model SOA prepared from two common BVOC. A common monoterpene, α- 16 pinene, and sesquiterpene, α-humulene, were used to form SOA in a smog chamber via BVOC + O3, 17 BVOC + NO3, and BVOC + OH + NOx oxidation. Samples of SOA were collected, extracted in water,more » 18 and photolyzed in an aqueous solution in order to simulate the photochemical cloud processing of SOA. 19 The extent of change in the molecular level composition of SOA over 4 hours of photolysis (roughly 20 equivalent to 64 hours of photolysis under ambient conditions) was assessed with high-resolution 21 electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The analysis revealed significant differences in the molecular 22 composition between monoterpene and sesquiterpene SOA formed by the different oxidation pathways. 23 The composition further evolved during photolysis with the most notable change corresponding to the 24 nearly-complete removal of nitrogen-containing organic compounds. Hydrolysis of SOA compounds also 25 occurred in parallel with photolysis. The preferential loss of larger SOA compounds during photolysis 26 and hydrolysis made the SOA compounds more volatile on average. This study suggests that cloud- and 27 fog-processing may under certain conditions lead to a reduction in the SOA loading as opposed to an 28 increase in SOA loading commonly assumed in the literature.« less