skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Efficient Isoprene Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from a Non-IEPOX Pathway

Abstract

With a large global emission rate and high reactivity, isoprene has a profound effect upon atmospheric chemistry and composition. The atmospheric pathways by which isoprene converts to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and how anthropogenic pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur affect this process are a subject of intense research because particles affect Earth’s climate and local air quality. In the absence of both nitrogen oxides and reactive aqueous seed particles, we measure SOA mass yields from isoprene photochemical oxidation of up to 15%, which are factors of 2, or more, higher than those typically used in coupled chemistry-climate models. SOA yield is initially constant with the addition of increasing amounts of nitric oxide (NO) but then sharply decreases for input concentrations above 10 ppbv. Online measurements of aerosol molecular composition show that the fate of second-generation RO2 radicals is key to understanding the efficient SOA formation and the NOx dependent yields described here and in the literature. These insights allow for improved quantitative estimates of SOA formation in the pre-industrial atmosphere and in biogenic-rich regions with limited anthropogenic impacts and suggest a more complex representation of NOx dependent SOA yields may be important in models.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1340826
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-117433
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X; KP1701000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science and Technology; Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 18
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Isoprene secondary organic aerosol; dihydroxydihydroperoxides; pre-industrial atmosphere

Citation Formats

Liu, Jiumeng, D’Ambro, Emma L., Lee, Ben H., Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe D., Zaveri, Rahul A., Rivera-Rios, Jean C., Keutsch, Frank N., Iyer, Siddharth, Kurten, Theo, Zhang, Zhenfa, Gold, Avram, Surratt, Jason D., Shilling, John E., and Thornton, Joel A. Efficient Isoprene Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from a Non-IEPOX Pathway. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b01872.
Liu, Jiumeng, D’Ambro, Emma L., Lee, Ben H., Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe D., Zaveri, Rahul A., Rivera-Rios, Jean C., Keutsch, Frank N., Iyer, Siddharth, Kurten, Theo, Zhang, Zhenfa, Gold, Avram, Surratt, Jason D., Shilling, John E., & Thornton, Joel A. Efficient Isoprene Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from a Non-IEPOX Pathway. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b01872.
Liu, Jiumeng, D’Ambro, Emma L., Lee, Ben H., Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe D., Zaveri, Rahul A., Rivera-Rios, Jean C., Keutsch, Frank N., Iyer, Siddharth, Kurten, Theo, Zhang, Zhenfa, Gold, Avram, Surratt, Jason D., Shilling, John E., and Thornton, Joel A. 2016. "Efficient Isoprene Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from a Non-IEPOX Pathway". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b01872.
@article{osti_1340826,
title = {Efficient Isoprene Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from a Non-IEPOX Pathway},
author = {Liu, Jiumeng and D’Ambro, Emma L. and Lee, Ben H. and Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe D. and Zaveri, Rahul A. and Rivera-Rios, Jean C. and Keutsch, Frank N. and Iyer, Siddharth and Kurten, Theo and Zhang, Zhenfa and Gold, Avram and Surratt, Jason D. and Shilling, John E. and Thornton, Joel A.},
abstractNote = {With a large global emission rate and high reactivity, isoprene has a profound effect upon atmospheric chemistry and composition. The atmospheric pathways by which isoprene converts to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and how anthropogenic pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur affect this process are a subject of intense research because particles affect Earth’s climate and local air quality. In the absence of both nitrogen oxides and reactive aqueous seed particles, we measure SOA mass yields from isoprene photochemical oxidation of up to 15%, which are factors of 2, or more, higher than those typically used in coupled chemistry-climate models. SOA yield is initially constant with the addition of increasing amounts of nitric oxide (NO) but then sharply decreases for input concentrations above 10 ppbv. Online measurements of aerosol molecular composition show that the fate of second-generation RO2 radicals is key to understanding the efficient SOA formation and the NOx dependent yields described here and in the literature. These insights allow for improved quantitative estimates of SOA formation in the pre-industrial atmosphere and in biogenic-rich regions with limited anthropogenic impacts and suggest a more complex representation of NOx dependent SOA yields may be important in models.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.est.6b01872},
journal = {Environmental Science and Technology},
number = 18,
volume = 50,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}
  • Substantial amounts of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) can be formed from isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX), which are oxidation products of isoprene mainly under low-NO conditions. Total IEPOX-SOA, which may include SOA formed from other parallel isoprene oxidation pathways, was quantified by applying positive matrix factorization (PMF) to aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements. The IEPOX-SOA fractions of organic aerosol (OA) in multiple field studies across several continents are summarized here and show consistent patterns with the concentration of gas-phase IEPOX simulated by the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model. During the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS), 78 % of PMF-resolved IEPOX-SOA is accountedmore » by the measured IEPOX-SOA molecular tracers (2-methyltetrols, C5-Triols, and IEPOX-derived organosulfate and its dimers), making it the highest level of molecular identification of an ambient SOA component to our knowledge. An enhanced signal at C 5H 6O + ( m/z 82) is found in PMF-resolved IEPOX-SOA spectra. To investigate the suitability of this ion as a tracer for IEPOX-SOA, we examine f C5H6O ( f C5H6O= C 5H 6O +/OA) across multiple field, chamber, and source data sets. A background of ~ 1.7 ± 0.1 ‰ (‰ = parts per thousand) is observed in studies strongly influenced by urban, biomass-burning, and other anthropogenic primary organic aerosol (POA). Higher background values of 3.1 ± 0.6 ‰ are found in studies strongly influenced by monoterpene emissions. The average laboratory monoterpene SOA value (5.5 ± 2.0 ‰) is 4 times lower than the average for IEPOX-SOA (22 ± 7 ‰), which leaves some room to separate both contributions to OA. Locations strongly influenced by isoprene emissions under low-NO levels had higher f C5H6O (~ 6.5 ± 2.2 ‰ on average) than other sites, consistent with the expected IEPOX-SOA formation in those studies. f C5H6O in IEPOX-SOA is always elevated (12–40 ‰) but varies substantially between locations, which is shown to reflect large variations in its detailed molecular composition. The low f C5H6O (< 3 ‰) reported in non-IEPOX-derived isoprene-SOA from chamber studies indicates that this tracer ion is specifically enhanced from IEPOX-SOA, and is not a tracer for all SOA from isoprene. We introduce a graphical diagnostic to study the presence and aging of IEPOX-SOA as a triangle plot of f CO2 vs. f C5H6O. Finally, we develop a simplified method to estimate ambient IEPOX-SOA mass concentrations, which is shown to perform well compared to the full PMF method. The uncertainty of the tracer method is up to a factor of ~ 2, if the f C5H6O of the local IEPOX-SOA is not available. When only unit mass-resolution data are available, as with the aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM), all methods may perform less well because of increased interferences from other ions at m/z 82. This study clarifies the strengths and limitations of the different AMS methods for detection of IEPOX-SOA and will enable improved characterization of this OA component.« less
    Cited by 36
  • Isoprene-epoxydiols-derived secondary organic aerosol (IEPOX-SOA) can contribute substantially to organic aerosol (OA) concentrations in forested areas under low NO conditions, hence significantly influencing the regional and global OA budgets, accounting, for example, for 16–36 % of the submicron OA in the southeastern United States (SE US) summer. Particle evaporation measurements from a thermodenuder show that the volatility of ambient IEPOX-SOA is lower than that of bulk OA and also much lower than that of known monomer IEPOX-SOA tracer species, indicating that IEPOX-SOA likely exists mostly as oligomers in the aerosol phase. The OH aging process of ambient IEPOX-SOA was investigated withmore » an oxidation flow reactor (OFR). New IEPOX-SOA formation in the reactor was negligible, as the OFR does not accelerate processes such as aerosol uptake and reactions that do not scale with OH. Simulation results indicate that adding  ∼  100 µg m −3 of pure H 2SO 4 to the ambient air allows IEPOX-SOA to be efficiently formed in the reactor. The heterogeneous reaction rate coefficient of ambient IEPOX-SOA with OH radical ( k OH) was estimated as 4.0 ± 2.0  ×  10 −13 cm 3 molec −1 s −1, which is equivalent to more than a 2-week lifetime. A similar k OH was found for measurements of OH oxidation of ambient Amazon forest air in an OFR. At higher OH exposures in the reactor (&gt;  1  ×  10 12 molec cm −3 s), the mass loss of IEPOX-SOA due to heterogeneous reaction was mainly due to revolatilization of fragmented reaction products. We report, for the first time, OH reactive uptake coefficients ( γ OH =  0.59 ± 0.33 in SE US and γ OH =  0.68 ± 0.38 in Amazon) for SOA under ambient conditions. A relative humidity dependence of k OH and γ OH was observed, consistent with surface-area-limited OH uptake. No decrease of k OH was observed as OH concentrations increased. These observations of physicochemical properties of IEPOX-SOA can help to constrain OA impact on air quality and climate.« less
    Cited by 6
  • Isoprene-epoxydiols-derived secondary organic aerosol (IEPOX-SOA) can contribute substantially to organic aerosol (OA) concentrations in forested areas under low NO conditions, hence significantly influencing the regional and global OA budgets, accounting, for example, for 16–36 % of the submicron OA in the southeastern United States (SE US) summer. Particle evaporation measurements from a thermodenuder show that the volatility of ambient IEPOX-SOA is lower than that of bulk OA and also much lower than that of known monomer IEPOX-SOA tracer species, indicating that IEPOX-SOA likely exists mostly as oligomers in the aerosol phase. The OH aging process of ambient IEPOX-SOA was investigatedmore » with an oxidation flow reactor (OFR). New IEPOX-SOA formation in the reactor was negligible, as the OFR does not accelerate processes such as aerosol uptake and reactions that do not scale with OH. Simulation results indicate that adding ~100 µg m -3 of pure H 2SO 4 to the ambient air allows IEPOX-SOA to be efficiently formed in the reactor. The heterogeneous reaction rate coefficient of ambient IEPOX-SOA with OH radical ( k OH) was estimated as 4.0 ± 2.0 ×10 -13 cm 3 molec -1 s -1, which is equivalent to more than a 2-week lifetime. A similar k OH was found for measurements of OH oxidation of ambient Amazon forest air in an OFR. At higher OH exposures in the reactor (&gt; 1 × 10 12 molec cm -3 s), the mass loss of IEPOX-SOA due to heterogeneous reaction was mainly due to revolatilization of fragmented reaction products. We report, for the first time, OH reactive uptake coefficients ( γ OH = 0.59±0.33 in SE US and γ OH = 0.68±0.38 in Amazon) for SOA under ambient conditions. A relative humidity dependence of k OH and γ OH was observed, consistent with surface-area-limited OH uptake. No decrease of k OH was observed as OH concentrations increased. These observations of physicochemical properties of IEPOX-SOA can help to constrain OA impact on air quality and climate.« less
  • We report chamber measurements of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from isoprene photochemical oxidation, where radical concentrations were systematically varied and the molecular composition of semi to low volatility gases and SOA were measured online. Using a detailed chemical mechanism, we find that to explain the behavior of low volatility products and SOA mass yields relative to input H2O2 concentrations, the second generation dihydroxy hydroperoxy peroxy radical (C5H11O6•) must undergo an intra-molecular H-shift with a net forward rate constant of order 0.1 s-1 or higher, consistent with quantum chemical calculations which suggest a net forward rate constant of 0.3-0.9 s-1.more » Furthermore, these calculations suggest the dominant product of this isomerization is a dihydroxy hydroperoxy epoxide (C5H10O5) which is expected to have a saturation vapor pressure ~2 orders of magnitude higher than the dihydroxy dihydroperoxide, ISOP(OOH)2 (C5H12O6), a major product of the peroxy radical reacting with HO2. These results provide strong constraints on the likely volatility distribution of isoprene oxidation products under atmospheric conditions and thus on the importance of non-reactive gas-particle partitioning of isoprene oxidation products as an SOA source.« 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