Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 20625-20672, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Formation of secondary aerosols: impact of the gas-phase chemical mechanism
Y. Kim, K. Sartelet, and C. Seigneur
CEREA, Joint Laboratory École des Ponts ParisTech/EDF R&D, Université Paris-Est, 77455 Champs sur Marne, France

Abstract. The impact of two recent gas-phase chemical kinetic mechanisms (CB05 and RACM2) on the formation of secondary inorganic and organic aerosols is compared for simulations of PM2.5 over Europe between 15 July and 15 August 2001. The host chemistry transport model is Polair3D of the Polyphemus air-quality platform. Particulate matter is modeled with SIREAM, which is coupled to the thermodynamic model ISORROPIA and to the secondary organic aerosol module MAEC. Model performance is satisfactory with both mechanisms for speciated PM2.5. The monthly-mean difference of the concentration of PM2.5 is less than 1 μg/m3 (6%) over the entire domain. Secondary chemical components of PM2.5 include sulfate, nitrate, ammonium and organic aerosols, and the chemical composition of PM2.5 is not significantly different between the two mechanisms. Monthly-mean concentrations of inorganic aerosol are higher with RACM2 than with CB05 (+16% for sulfate, +11% for nitrate, and +12% for ammonium), whereas the concentrations of organic aerosols are slightly higher with CB05 than with RACM2 (+26% for anthropogenic SOA and +1% for biogenic SOA). Differences in the inorganic and organic aerosols result primarily from differences in oxidant concentrations (OH, O3 and NO3). Nitrate formation tends to be HNO3-limited over land and differences in the concentrations of nitrate are due to differences in concentration of HNO3. Differences in aerosols formed from aromatics SVOC are due to different aromatics oxidation between CB05 and RACM2. The aromatics oxidation in CB05 leads to more cresol formation, which then leads to more SOA. Differences in the aromatics aerosols would be significantly reduced with the recent CB05-TU mechanism for toluene oxidation. Differences in the biogenic aerosols are due to different oxidant concentrations (monoterpenes) and different particulate organic mass concentrations affecting the gas-particle partitioning of SOA (isoprene).

Citation: Kim, Y., Sartelet, K., and Seigneur, C.: Formation of secondary aerosols: impact of the gas-phase chemical mechanism, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 20625-20672, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-20625-2010, 2010.
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