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Title: Secondary organic aerosol formation from in situ OH, O 3, and NO 3 oxidation of ambient forest air in an oxidation flow reactor

Abstract

Ambient pine forest air was oxidized by OH, O 3, or NO 3 radicals using an oxidation flow reactor (OFR) during the BEACHON-RoMBAS (Bio–hydro–atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H 2O, Organics and Nitrogen – Rocky Mountain Biogenic Aerosol Study) campaign to study biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation and organic aerosol (OA) aging. A wide range of equivalent atmospheric photochemical ages was sampled, from hours up to days (for O 3 and NO 3) or weeks (for OH). Ambient air processed by the OFR was typically sampled every 20–30 min, in order to determine how the availability of SOA precursor gases in ambient air changed with diurnal and synoptic conditions, for each of the three oxidants. More SOA was formed during nighttime than daytime for all three oxidants, indicating that SOA precursor concentrations were higher at night. At all times of day, OH oxidation led to approximately 4 times more SOA formation than either O 3 or NO 3 oxidation. This is likely because O 3 and NO 3 will only react with gases containing C = C bonds (e.g., terpenes) to form SOA but will not react appreciably with many of their oxidation products or any species inmore » the gas phase that lacks a C = C bond (e.g., pinonic acid, alkanes). In contrast, OH can continue to react with compounds that lack C = C bonds to produce SOA. Closure was achieved between the amount of SOA formed from O 3 and NO 3 oxidation in the OFR and the SOA predicted to form from measured concentrations of ambient monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes using published chamber yields. This is in contrast to previous work at this site (Palm et al., 2016), which has shown that a source of SOA from semi- and intermediate-volatility organic compounds (S/IVOCs) 3.4 times larger than the source from measured VOCs is needed to explain the measured SOA formation from OH oxidation. This work suggests that those S/IVOCs typically do not contain C = C bonds. O 3 and NO 3 oxidation produced SOA with elemental O : C and H : C similar to the least-oxidized OA observed in local ambient air, and neither oxidant led to net mass loss at the highest exposures, in contrast to OH oxidation. An OH exposure in the OFR equivalent to several hours of atmospheric aging also produced SOA with O : C and H : C values similar to ambient OA, while higher aging (days–weeks) led to formation of SOA with progressively higher O : C and lower H : C (and net mass loss at the highest exposures). NO 3 oxidation led to the production of particulate organic nitrates (pRONO 2), while OH and O 3 oxidation (under low NO) did not, as expected. As a result, these measurements of SOA formation provide the first direct comparison of SOA formation potential and chemical evolution from OH, O 3, and NO 3 oxidation in the real atmosphere and help to clarify the oxidation processes that lead to SOA formation from biogenic hydrocarbons.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [4];  [4];  [4];  [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [8]; ORCiD logo [8];  [9]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO (United States)
  3. Reed College, Portland, OR (United States)
  4. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); NOAA Earth System Research Lab., Boulder, CO (United States)
  5. Reed College, Portland, OR (United States); Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
  6. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  7. Univ. of Innsbruck (Austria); Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen GmbH, OberschlienBheim (Germany)
  8. Univ. of Innsbruck (Austria)
  9. Univ. de Jaen, Jaen (Spain)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1352991
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0011105; SC0016559
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Palm, Brett B., Campuzano-Jost, Pedro, Day, Douglas A., Ortega, Amber M., Fry, Juliane L., Brown, Steven S., Zarzana, Kyle J., Dube, William, Wagner, Nicholas L., Draper, Danielle C., Kaser, Lisa, Jud, Werner, Karl, Thomas, Hansel, Armin, Gutierrez-Montes, Candido, and Jimenez, Jose L.. Secondary organic aerosol formation from in situ OH, O3, and NO3 oxidation of ambient forest air in an oxidation flow reactor. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.5194/acp-17-5331-2017.
Palm, Brett B., Campuzano-Jost, Pedro, Day, Douglas A., Ortega, Amber M., Fry, Juliane L., Brown, Steven S., Zarzana, Kyle J., Dube, William, Wagner, Nicholas L., Draper, Danielle C., Kaser, Lisa, Jud, Werner, Karl, Thomas, Hansel, Armin, Gutierrez-Montes, Candido, & Jimenez, Jose L.. Secondary organic aerosol formation from in situ OH, O3, and NO3 oxidation of ambient forest air in an oxidation flow reactor. United States. doi:10.5194/acp-17-5331-2017.
Palm, Brett B., Campuzano-Jost, Pedro, Day, Douglas A., Ortega, Amber M., Fry, Juliane L., Brown, Steven S., Zarzana, Kyle J., Dube, William, Wagner, Nicholas L., Draper, Danielle C., Kaser, Lisa, Jud, Werner, Karl, Thomas, Hansel, Armin, Gutierrez-Montes, Candido, and Jimenez, Jose L.. 2017. "Secondary organic aerosol formation from in situ OH, O3, and NO3 oxidation of ambient forest air in an oxidation flow reactor". United States. doi:10.5194/acp-17-5331-2017.
@article{osti_1352991,
title = {Secondary organic aerosol formation from in situ OH, O3, and NO3 oxidation of ambient forest air in an oxidation flow reactor},
author = {Palm, Brett B. and Campuzano-Jost, Pedro and Day, Douglas A. and Ortega, Amber M. and Fry, Juliane L. and Brown, Steven S. and Zarzana, Kyle J. and Dube, William and Wagner, Nicholas L. and Draper, Danielle C. and Kaser, Lisa and Jud, Werner and Karl, Thomas and Hansel, Armin and Gutierrez-Montes, Candido and Jimenez, Jose L.},
abstractNote = {Ambient pine forest air was oxidized by OH, O3, or NO3 radicals using an oxidation flow reactor (OFR) during the BEACHON-RoMBAS (Bio–hydro–atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H2O, Organics and Nitrogen – Rocky Mountain Biogenic Aerosol Study) campaign to study biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation and organic aerosol (OA) aging. A wide range of equivalent atmospheric photochemical ages was sampled, from hours up to days (for O3 and NO3) or weeks (for OH). Ambient air processed by the OFR was typically sampled every 20–30 min, in order to determine how the availability of SOA precursor gases in ambient air changed with diurnal and synoptic conditions, for each of the three oxidants. More SOA was formed during nighttime than daytime for all three oxidants, indicating that SOA precursor concentrations were higher at night. At all times of day, OH oxidation led to approximately 4 times more SOA formation than either O3 or NO3 oxidation. This is likely because O3 and NO3 will only react with gases containing C = C bonds (e.g., terpenes) to form SOA but will not react appreciably with many of their oxidation products or any species in the gas phase that lacks a C = C bond (e.g., pinonic acid, alkanes). In contrast, OH can continue to react with compounds that lack C = C bonds to produce SOA. Closure was achieved between the amount of SOA formed from O3 and NO3 oxidation in the OFR and the SOA predicted to form from measured concentrations of ambient monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes using published chamber yields. This is in contrast to previous work at this site (Palm et al., 2016), which has shown that a source of SOA from semi- and intermediate-volatility organic compounds (S/IVOCs) 3.4 times larger than the source from measured VOCs is needed to explain the measured SOA formation from OH oxidation. This work suggests that those S/IVOCs typically do not contain C = C bonds. O3 and NO3 oxidation produced SOA with elemental O : C and H : C similar to the least-oxidized OA observed in local ambient air, and neither oxidant led to net mass loss at the highest exposures, in contrast to OH oxidation. An OH exposure in the OFR equivalent to several hours of atmospheric aging also produced SOA with O : C and H : C values similar to ambient OA, while higher aging (days–weeks) led to formation of SOA with progressively higher O : C and lower H : C (and net mass loss at the highest exposures). NO3 oxidation led to the production of particulate organic nitrates (pRONO2), while OH and O3 oxidation (under low NO) did not, as expected. As a result, these measurements of SOA formation provide the first direct comparison of SOA formation potential and chemical evolution from OH, O3, and NO3 oxidation in the real atmosphere and help to clarify the oxidation processes that lead to SOA formation from biogenic hydrocarbons.},
doi = {10.5194/acp-17-5331-2017},
journal = {Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)},
number = 8,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 4
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.5194/acp-17-5331-2017

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  • Ambient pine forest air was oxidized by OH, O 3, or NO 3 radicals using an oxidation flow reactor (OFR) during the BEACHON-RoMBAS (Bio–hydro–atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H 2O, Organics and Nitrogen – Rocky Mountain Biogenic Aerosol Study) campaign to study biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation and organic aerosol (OA) aging. A wide range of equivalent atmospheric photochemical ages was sampled, from hours up to days (for O 3 and NO 3) or weeks (for OH). Ambient air processed by the OFR was typically sampled every 20–30 min, in order to determine how the availability of SOAmore » precursor gases in ambient air changed with diurnal and synoptic conditions, for each of the three oxidants. More SOA was formed during nighttime than daytime for all three oxidants, indicating that SOA precursor concentrations were higher at night. At all times of day, OH oxidation led to approximately 4 times more SOA formation than either O 3 or NO 3 oxidation. This is likely because O 3 and NO 3 will only react with gases containing C = C bonds (e.g., terpenes) to form SOA but will not react appreciably with many of their oxidation products or any species in the gas phase that lacks a C = C bond (e.g., pinonic acid, alkanes). In contrast, OH can continue to react with compounds that lack C = C bonds to produce SOA. Closure was achieved between the amount of SOA formed from O 3 and NO 3 oxidation in the OFR and the SOA predicted to form from measured concentrations of ambient monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes using published chamber yields. This is in contrast to previous work at this site (Palm et al., 2016), which has shown that a source of SOA from semi- and intermediate-volatility organic compounds (S/IVOCs) 3.4 times larger than the source from measured VOCs is needed to explain the measured SOA formation from OH oxidation. This work suggests that those S/IVOCs typically do not contain C = C bonds. O 3 and NO 3 oxidation produced SOA with elemental O : C and H : C similar to the least-oxidized OA observed in local ambient air, and neither oxidant led to net mass loss at the highest exposures, in contrast to OH oxidation. An OH exposure in the OFR equivalent to several hours of atmospheric aging also produced SOA with O : C and H : C values similar to ambient OA, while higher aging (days–weeks) led to formation of SOA with progressively higher O : C and lower H : C (and net mass loss at the highest exposures). NO 3 oxidation led to the production of particulate organic nitrates (pRONO 2), while OH and O 3 oxidation (under low NO) did not, as expected. As a result, these measurements of SOA formation provide the first direct comparison of SOA formation potential and chemical evolution from OH, O 3, and NO 3 oxidation in the real atmosphere and help to clarify the oxidation processes that lead to SOA formation from biogenic hydrocarbons.« less
  • An oxidation flow reactor (OFR) is a vessel inside which the concentration of a chosen oxidant can be increased for the purpose of studying SOA formation and aging by that oxidant. During the BEACHON-RoMBAS (Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H 2O, Organics & Nitrogen–Rocky Mountain Biogenic Aerosol Study) field campaign, ambient pine forest air was oxidized by OH radicals in an OFR to measure the amount of SOA that could be formed from the real mix of ambient SOA precursor gases, and how that amount changed with time as precursors changed. High OH concentrations and short residence times allowedmore » for semicontinuous cycling through a large range of OH exposures ranging from hours to weeks of equivalent (eq.) atmospheric aging. A simple model is derived and used to account for the relative timescales of condensation of low-volatility organic compounds (LVOCs) onto particles; condensational loss to the walls; and further reaction to produce volatile, non-condensing fragmentation products. More SOA production was observed in the OFR at nighttime (average 3 µg m –3 when LVOC fate corrected) compared to daytime (average 0.9 µg m –3 when LVOC fate corrected), with maximum formation observed at 0.4–1.5 eq. days of photochemical aging. SOA formation followed a similar diurnal pattern to monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and toluene+ p-cymene concentrations, including a substantial increase just after sunrise at 07:00 local time. Higher photochemical aging (>10 eq. days) led to a decrease in new SOA formation and a loss of preexisting OA due to heterogeneous oxidation followed by fragmentation and volatilization. When comparing two different commonly used methods of OH production in OFRs (OFR185 and OFR254-70), similar amounts of SOA formation were observed. We recommend the OFR185 mode for future forest studies. Concurrent gas-phase measurements of air after OH oxidation illustrate the decay of primary VOCs, production of small oxidized organic compounds, and net production at lower ages followed by net consumption of terpenoid oxidation products as photochemical age increased. New particle formation was observed in the reactor after oxidation, especially during times when precursor gas concentrations and SOA formation were largest. Approximately 4.4 times more SOA was formed in the reactor from OH oxidation than could be explained by the VOCs measured in ambient air. To our knowledge this is the first time that this has been shown when comparing VOC concentrations with SOA formation measured at the same time, rather than comparing measurements made at different times. Several recently developed instruments have quantified ambient semivolatile and intermediate-volatility organic compounds (S/IVOCs) that were not detected by a proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS). An SOA yield of 18–58 % from those compounds can explain the observed SOA formation. S/IVOCs were the only pool of gas-phase carbon that was large enough to explain the observed SOA formation. This work suggests that these typically unmeasured gases play a substantial role in ambient SOA formation. Our results allow ruling out condensation sticking coefficients much lower than 1. Lastly, these measurements help clarify the magnitude of potential SOA formation from OH oxidation in forested environments and demonstrate methods for interpretation of ambient OFR measurements.« less
    Cited by 12
  • An oxidation flow reactor (OFR) is a vessel inside which the concentration of a chosen oxidant can be increased for the purpose of studying SOA formation and aging by that oxidant. During the BEACHON-RoMBAS (Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H 2O, Organics & Nitrogen–Rocky Mountain Biogenic Aerosol Study) field campaign, ambient pine forest air was oxidized by OH radicals in an OFR to measure the amount of SOA that could be formed from the real mix of ambient SOA precursor gases, and how that amount changed with time as precursors changed. High OH concentrations and short residence times allowedmore » for semicontinuous cycling through a large range of OH exposures ranging from hours to weeks of equivalent (eq.) atmospheric aging. A simple model is derived and used to account for the relative timescales of condensation of low-volatility organic compounds (LVOCs) onto particles; condensational loss to the walls; and further reaction to produce volatile, non-condensing fragmentation products. More SOA production was observed in the OFR at nighttime (average 3 µg m –3 when LVOC fate corrected) compared to daytime (average 0.9 µg m –3 when LVOC fate corrected), with maximum formation observed at 0.4–1.5 eq. days of photochemical aging. SOA formation followed a similar diurnal pattern to monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and toluene+ p-cymene concentrations, including a substantial increase just after sunrise at 07:00 local time. Higher photochemical aging (>10 eq. days) led to a decrease in new SOA formation and a loss of preexisting OA due to heterogeneous oxidation followed by fragmentation and volatilization. When comparing two different commonly used methods of OH production in OFRs (OFR185 and OFR254-70), similar amounts of SOA formation were observed. We recommend the OFR185 mode for future forest studies. Concurrent gas-phase measurements of air after OH oxidation illustrate the decay of primary VOCs, production of small oxidized organic compounds, and net production at lower ages followed by net consumption of terpenoid oxidation products as photochemical age increased. New particle formation was observed in the reactor after oxidation, especially during times when precursor gas concentrations and SOA formation were largest. Approximately 4.4 times more SOA was formed in the reactor from OH oxidation than could be explained by the VOCs measured in ambient air. To our knowledge this is the first time that this has been shown when comparing VOC concentrations with SOA formation measured at the same time, rather than comparing measurements made at different times. Several recently developed instruments have quantified ambient semivolatile and intermediate-volatility organic compounds (S/IVOCs) that were not detected by a proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS). An SOA yield of 18–58 % from those compounds can explain the observed SOA formation. S/IVOCs were the only pool of gas-phase carbon that was large enough to explain the observed SOA formation. This work suggests that these typically unmeasured gases play a substantial role in ambient SOA formation. Our results allow ruling out condensation sticking coefficients much lower than 1. Lastly, these measurements help clarify the magnitude of potential SOA formation from OH oxidation in forested environments and demonstrate methods for interpretation of ambient OFR measurements.« less
  • Field studies in polluted areas over the last decade have observed large formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) that is often poorly captured by models. The study of SOA formation using ambient data is often confounded by the effects of advection, vertical mixing, emissions, and variable degrees of photochemical aging. An oxidation flow reactor (OFR) was deployed to study SOA formation in real-time during the California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) campaign in Pasadena, CA, in 2010. A high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) alternated sampling ambient andmore » reactor-aged air. The reactor produced OH concentrations up to 4 orders of magnitude higher than in ambient air. OH radical concentration was continuously stepped, achieving equivalent atmospheric aging of 0.8 days–6.4 weeks in 3 min of processing every 2 h. Enhancement of organic aerosol (OA) from aging showed a maximum net SOA production between 0.8–6 days of aging with net OA mass loss beyond 2 weeks. Reactor SOA mass peaked at night, in the absence of ambient photochemistry and correlated with trimethylbenzene concentrations. Reactor SOA formation was inversely correlated with ambient SOA and O x, which along with the short-lived volatile organic compound correlation, indicates the importance of very reactive ( τ OH ~ 0.3 day) SOA precursors (most likely semivolatile and intermediate volatility species, S/IVOCs) in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Evolution of the elemental composition in the reactor was similar to trends observed in the atmosphere (O : C vs. H : C slope ~ –0.65). Oxidation state of carbon (OSc) in reactor SOA increased steeply with age and remained elevated (OS C ~ 2) at the highest photochemical ages probed. The ratio of OA in the reactor output to excess CO (ΔCO, ambient CO above regional background) vs. photochemical age is similar to previous studies at low to moderate ages and also extends to higher ages where OA loss dominates. The mass added at low-to-intermediate ages is due primarily to condensation of oxidized species, not heterogeneous oxidation. The OA decrease at high photochemical ages is dominated by heterogeneous oxidation followed by fragmentation/evaporation. A comparison of urban SOA formation in this study with a similar study of vehicle SOA in a tunnel suggests the importance of vehicle emissions for urban SOA. Pre-2007 SOA models underpredict SOA formation by an order of magnitude, while a more recent model performs better but overpredicts at higher ages. Furthermore, these results demonstrate the value of the reactor as a tool for in situ evaluation of the SOA formation potential and OA evolution from ambient air.« less
  • Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from ambient air was studied using an oxidation flow reactor (OFR) coupled to an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) during both the wet and dry seasons at the Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon (GoAmazon2014/5) field campaign. Measurements were made at two sites downwind of the city of Manaus, Brazil. Ambient air was oxidized in the OFR using variable concentrations of either OH or O 3, over ranges from hours to days (O 3) or weeks (OH) of equivalent atmospheric aging. The amount of SOA formed in the OFR ranged from 0 to asmore » much as 10 μg m -3, depending on the amount of SOA precursor gases in ambient air. Typically, more SOA was formed during nighttime than daytime, and more from OH than from O 3 oxidation. SOA yields of individual organic precursors under OFR conditions were measured by standard addition into ambient air, and confirmed to be consistent with published environmental chamber-derived SOA yields. Positive matrix factorization of organic aerosol (OA) after OH oxidation showed formation of typical oxidized OA factors and a loss of primary OA factors as OH aging increased. After OH oxidation in the OFR, the hygroscopicity of the OA increased with increasing elemental O : C up to O : C ~ 1.0, and then decreased as O : C increased further. Some possible reasons for this decrease are discussed. The measured SOA formation was compared to the amount predicted from the concentrations of measured ambient SOA precursors and their SOA yields. And while measured ambient precursors were sufficient to explain the amount of SOA formed from O 3, they could only explain 10–50 % of the SOA formed from OH. This is consistent with previous OFR studies which showed that typically unmeasured semivolatile and intermediate volatility gases (that tend to lack C = C bonds) are present in ambient air and can explain such additional SOA formation. To investigate the sources of the unmeasured SOA-forming gases during this campaign, multilinear regression analysis was performed between measured SOA formation and the concentration of gas-phase tracers representing different precursor sources. The majority of SOA-forming gases present during both seasons were of biogenic origin. Urban sources also contributed substantially in both seasons, while biomass burning sources were more important during the dry season. Our study enables a better understanding of SOA formation in environments with diverse emission sources.« less