Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 1955-1970, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-1955-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
22 Feb 2016
A chamber study of the influence of boreal BVOC emissions and sulfuric acid on nanoparticle formation rates at ambient concentrations
M. Dal Maso1, L. Liao2, J. Wildt4, A. Kiendler-Scharr3, E. Kleist4, R. Tillmann3, M. Sipilä2, J. Hakala2, K. Lehtipalo2, M. Ehn2, V.-M. Kerminen2, M. Kulmala2, D. Worsnop2, and T. Mentel3 1Department of Physics, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 692, 33100 Tampere, Finland
2Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014, Helsinki, Finland
3IEK-8, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany
4IBG-2, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany
Abstract. Aerosol formation from biogenic and anthropogenic precursor trace gases in continental background areas affects climate via altering the amount of available cloud condensation nuclei. Significant uncertainty still exists regarding the agents controlling the formation of aerosol nanoparticles. We have performed experiments in the Jülich plant–atmosphere simulation chamber with instrumentation for the detection of sulfuric acid and nanoparticles, and present the first simultaneous chamber observations of nanoparticles, sulfuric acid, and realistic levels and mixtures of biogenic volatile compounds (BVOCs). We present direct laboratory observations of nanoparticle formation from sulfuric acid and realistic BVOC precursor vapour mixtures performed at atmospherically relevant concentration levels. We directly measured particle formation rates separately from particle growth rates. From this, we established that in our experiments, the formation rate was proportional to the product of sulfuric acid and biogenic VOC emission strength. The formation rates were consistent with a mechanism in which nucleating BVOC oxidation products are rapidly formed and activate with sulfuric acid. The growth rate of nanoparticles immediately after birth was best correlated with estimated products resulting from BVOC ozonolysis.

Citation: Dal Maso, M., Liao, L., Wildt, J., Kiendler-Scharr, A., Kleist, E., Tillmann, R., Sipilä, M., Hakala, J., Lehtipalo, K., Ehn, M., Kerminen, V.-M., Kulmala, M., Worsnop, D., and Mentel, T.: A chamber study of the influence of boreal BVOC emissions and sulfuric acid on nanoparticle formation rates at ambient concentrations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 1955-1970, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-1955-2016, 2016.
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In this paper, we present the first direct laboratory observations of nanoparticle formation from sulfuric acid and realistic BVOC precursor vapour mixtures performed at atmospherically relevant concentration levels. We found that the formation rate was proportional to the product of sulphuric acid and biogenic VOC emission strength, and that the formation rates were consistent with a mechanism in which nucleating BVOC oxidation products are rapidly formed and activate with sulfuric acid.
In this paper, we present the first direct laboratory observations of nanoparticle formation...
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