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Volume 14, issue 5
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 2383-2397, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-14-2383-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 2383-2397, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-14-2383-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 07 Mar 2014

Research article | 07 Mar 2014

Emission factor ratios, SOA mass yields, and the impact of vehicular emissions on SOA formation

J. J. Ensberg1, P. L. Hayes2,3,*, J. L. Jimenez2,3, J. B. Gilman3,4, W. C. Kuster3,4, J. A. de Gouw3,4, J. S. Holloway3,4, T. D. Gordon5,6,**,***, S. Jathar5,****, A. L. Robinson5,6, and J. H. Seinfeld1,7 J. J. Ensberg et al.
  • 1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304, USA
  • 5Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
  • 6Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
  • 7Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • *now at: Department of Chemistry, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • **now at: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304, USA
  • ***now at: Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
  • ****now at: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA, USA

Abstract. The underprediction of ambient secondary organic aerosol (SOA) levels by current atmospheric models in urban areas is well established, yet the cause of this underprediction remains elusive. Likewise, the relative contribution of emissions from gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles to the formation of SOA is generally unresolved. We investigate the source of these two discrepancies using data from the 2010 CalNex experiment carried out in the Los Angeles Basin (Ryerson et al., 2013). Specifically, we use gas-phase organic mass (GPOM) and CO emission factors in conjunction with measured enhancements in oxygenated organic aerosol (OOA) relative to CO to quantify the significant lack of closure between expected and observed organic aerosol concentrations attributable to fossil-fuel emissions. Two possible conclusions emerge from the analysis to yield consistency with the ambient data: (1) vehicular emissions are not a dominant source of anthropogenic fossil SOA in the Los Angeles Basin, or (2) the ambient SOA mass yields used to determine the SOA formation potential of vehicular emissions are substantially higher than those derived from laboratory chamber studies.

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