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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 14 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 8301-8313, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-8301-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 24 Jul 2015

Research article | 24 Jul 2015

Formation and aging of secondary organic aerosol from toluene: changes in chemical composition, volatility, and hygroscopicity

L. Hildebrandt Ruiz1,2, A. L. Paciga2,a, K. M. Cerully3,b, A. Nenes3, N. M. Donahue2, and S. N. Pandis2,4 L. Hildebrandt Ruiz et al.
  • 1The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
  • 2Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 3Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • 4University of Patras, Patras, Greece
  • anow at: Phillips66®, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA
  • bnow at: TSI, Inc., Shoreview, Minnesota, USA

Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is transformed after its initial formation, but this chemical aging of SOA is poorly understood. Experiments were conducted in the Carnegie Mellon environmental chamber to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from the photo-oxidation of toluene and other small aromatic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of NOx under different oxidizing conditions. The effects of the oxidizing condition on organic aerosol (OA) composition, mass yield, volatility, and hygroscopicity were explored. Higher exposure to the hydroxyl radical resulted in different OA composition, average carbon oxidation state (OSc), and mass yield. The OA oxidation state generally increased during photo-oxidation, and the final OA OSc ranged from −0.29 to 0.16 in the performed experiments. The volatility of OA formed in these different experiments varied by as much as a factor of 30, demonstrating that the OA formed under different oxidizing conditions can have a significantly different saturation concentration. There was no clear correlation between hygroscopicity and oxidation state for this relatively hygroscopic SOA.

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Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is transformed after its initial formation. We explored the effects of this chemical aging on the composition, mass yield, volatility, and hygroscopicity of SOA formed from the photo-oxidation of small aromatic volatile organic compounds. Higher exposure to the hydroxyl radical resulted in different SOA composition, average carbon oxidation state, and mass yield. The vapor pressure of SOA formed under different conditions varied by as much as a factor of 30.
Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is transformed after its initial formation. We explored the...
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