Secondary organic aerosol from VOC mixtures in an oxidation flow reactor

Erik Ahlberg, John Falk, Axel Eriksson, Thomas Holst, William Henry Brune, Adam Kristensson, Pontus Roldin, Birgitta Svenningsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The atmospheric organic aerosol is a tremendously complex system in terms of chemical content. Models generally treat the mixtures as ideal, something which has been questioned owing to model-measurement discrepancies. We used an oxidation flow reactor to produce secondary organic aerosol (SOA) mixtures containing oxidation products of biogenic (α-pinene, myrcene and isoprene) and anthropogenic (m-xylene) volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The resulting volume concentration and chemical composition was measured using a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS), respectively. The SOA mass yield of the mixtures was compared to a partitioning model constructed from single VOC experiments. The single VOC SOA mass yields with no wall-loss correction applied are comparable to previous experiments. In the mixtures containing myrcene a higher yield than expected was produced. We attribute this to an increased condensation sink, arising from myrcene producing a significantly higher number of nucleation particles compared to the other precursors. Isoprene did not produce much mass in single VOC experiments but contributed to the mass of the mixtures. The effect of high concentrations of isoprene on the OH exposure was found to be small, even at OH reactivities that previously have been reported to significantly suppress OH exposures in oxidation flow reactors. Furthermore, isoprene shifted the particle size distribution of mixtures towards larger sizes, which could be due to a change in oxidant dynamics inside the reactor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-220
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume161
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

isoprene
volatile organic compound
aerosol
oxidation
experiment
xylene
oxidant
nucleation
condensation
spectrometer
partitioning
chemical composition
particle size
reactor
particle
exposure

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Ahlberg, E., Falk, J., Eriksson, A., Holst, T., Brune, W. H., Kristensson, A., ... Svenningsson, B. (2017). Secondary organic aerosol from VOC mixtures in an oxidation flow reactor. Atmospheric Environment, 161, 210-220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.05.005
Ahlberg, Erik ; Falk, John ; Eriksson, Axel ; Holst, Thomas ; Brune, William Henry ; Kristensson, Adam ; Roldin, Pontus ; Svenningsson, Birgitta. / Secondary organic aerosol from VOC mixtures in an oxidation flow reactor. In: Atmospheric Environment. 2017 ; Vol. 161. pp. 210-220.
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Ahlberg, E, Falk, J, Eriksson, A, Holst, T, Brune, WH, Kristensson, A, Roldin, P & Svenningsson, B 2017, 'Secondary organic aerosol from VOC mixtures in an oxidation flow reactor', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 161, pp. 210-220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.05.005

Secondary organic aerosol from VOC mixtures in an oxidation flow reactor. / Ahlberg, Erik; Falk, John; Eriksson, Axel; Holst, Thomas; Brune, William Henry; Kristensson, Adam; Roldin, Pontus; Svenningsson, Birgitta.

In: Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 161, 01.01.2017, p. 210-220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Secondary organic aerosol from VOC mixtures in an oxidation flow reactor

AU - Ahlberg, Erik

AU - Falk, John

AU - Eriksson, Axel

AU - Holst, Thomas

AU - Brune, William Henry

AU - Kristensson, Adam

AU - Roldin, Pontus

AU - Svenningsson, Birgitta

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N2 - The atmospheric organic aerosol is a tremendously complex system in terms of chemical content. Models generally treat the mixtures as ideal, something which has been questioned owing to model-measurement discrepancies. We used an oxidation flow reactor to produce secondary organic aerosol (SOA) mixtures containing oxidation products of biogenic (α-pinene, myrcene and isoprene) and anthropogenic (m-xylene) volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The resulting volume concentration and chemical composition was measured using a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS), respectively. The SOA mass yield of the mixtures was compared to a partitioning model constructed from single VOC experiments. The single VOC SOA mass yields with no wall-loss correction applied are comparable to previous experiments. In the mixtures containing myrcene a higher yield than expected was produced. We attribute this to an increased condensation sink, arising from myrcene producing a significantly higher number of nucleation particles compared to the other precursors. Isoprene did not produce much mass in single VOC experiments but contributed to the mass of the mixtures. The effect of high concentrations of isoprene on the OH exposure was found to be small, even at OH reactivities that previously have been reported to significantly suppress OH exposures in oxidation flow reactors. Furthermore, isoprene shifted the particle size distribution of mixtures towards larger sizes, which could be due to a change in oxidant dynamics inside the reactor.

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