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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 8 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 5799-5819, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-5799-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Apr 2018

Research article | 26 Apr 2018

Organic aerosol in the summertime southeastern United States: components and their link to volatility distribution, oxidation state and hygroscopicity

Evangelia Kostenidou1,2, Eleni Karnezi3, James R. Hite Jr.4, Aikaterini Bougiatioti4,6, Kate Cerully5,a, Lu Xu5,b, Nga L. Ng4,5, Athanasios Nenes1,4,5,6, and Spyros N. Pandis1,2,3 Evangelia Kostenidou et al.
  • 1Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas, Patras, Greece
  • 2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • 4School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 5School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 6Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Palea Penteli, Greece
  • anow at: TSI, Inc., Shoreview, MN, USA
  • bnow at: Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

Abstract. The volatility distribution of the organic aerosol (OA) and its sources during the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS; Centreville, Alabama) was constrained using measurements from an Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) and a thermodenuder (TD). Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis was applied on both the ambient and thermodenuded high-resolution mass spectra, leading to four factors: more oxidized oxygenated OA (MO-OOA), less oxidized oxygenated OA (LO-OOA), an isoprene epoxydiol (IEPOX)-related factor (isoprene-OA) and biomass burning OA (BBOA). BBOA had the highest mass fraction remaining (MFR) at 100°C, followed by the isoprene-OA, and the LO-OOA. Surprisingly the MO-OOA evaporated the most in the TD. The estimated effective vaporization enthalpies assuming an evaporation coefficient equal to unity were 58±13kJmol−1 for the LO-OOA, 89±10kJmol−1 for the MO-OOA, 55±11kJmol−1 for the BBOA, and 63±15kJmol−1 for the isoprene-OA. The estimated volatility distribution of all factors covered a wide range including both semi-volatile and low-volatility components. BBOA had the lowest average volatility of all factors, even though it had the lowest O : C ratio among all factors. LO-OOA was the more volatile factor and its high MFR was due to its low enthalpy of vaporization according to the model. The isoprene-OA factor had intermediate volatility, quite higher than suggested by a few other studies. The analysis suggests that deducing the volatility of a factor only from its MFR could lead to erroneous conclusions. The oxygen content of the factors can be combined with their estimated volatility and hygroscopicity to provide a better view of their physical properties.

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The volatility distribution of organic aerosol (OA) and its sources during the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS) was estimated. The volatility distribution of all components covered a wide range including both semi-volatile and low-volatility components. The oxygen content of the factors can be combined with their estimated volatility and hygroscopicity to provide a better view of their physical properties.
The volatility distribution of organic aerosol (OA) and its sources during the Southern Oxidant...
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