Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 21489-21532, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. 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.
Aqueous phase processing of secondary organic aerosols
Yao Liu1, T. Tritscher2, A. P. Praplan2, P. F. DeCarlo2,*, B. Temime-Roussel1, E. Quivet1, N. Marchand1, J. Dommen2, U. Baltensperger2, and A. Monod1
1Université Aix-Marseille I, II et III, Case 29, UMR6264, CNRS – Laboratoire Chimie Provence, 3 place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille Cedex 3, France
2Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
*now at: AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow Hosted at the US EPA, Washington, DC, USA

Abstract. The aging of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) by photooxidation in the aqueous phase was experimentally investigated. To simulate multiphase processes, the following experiments were sequentially performed in a smog chamber and in an aqueous phase photoreactor: (1) Gas-phase photooxidation of three different volatile organic compounds (VOC): isoprene, α-pinene, and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene (TMB) in the presence of NOx, leading to the formation of SOA which was subjected to on-line physical and chemical analysis; (2) particle-to-liquid transfer of water soluble species of SOA using filter sampling and aqueous extraction; (3) aqueous-phase photooxidation of the obtained water extracts; and (4) nebulization of the solutions for a repetition of the on-line characterization. SOA concentrations in the chamber measured with a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) were higher than 200 μg m−3, as the experiments were conducted under high initial concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and NOx. The aging of SOA through aqueous phase processing was investigated by measuring the physical and chemical properties of the particles online before and after processing using a high resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and a hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (H-TDMA). It was shown that, after aqueous phase processing, the particles were significantly more hygroscopic, and contained more fragmentation ions at m/z = 44 and less ions at m/z = 43, thus showing a significant impact on SOA aging for the three different precursors. Additionally, the particles were analyzed with a thermal desorption atmospheric pressure ionization aerosol mass spectrometer (TD-API-AMS). Comparing the smog chamber SOA composition and non processed nebulized aqueous extracts with this technique revealed that sampling, extraction and/or nebulization did not significantly impact the chemical composition of SOA formed from isoprene and α-pinene, whereas it affected that formed from TMB. For the two first precursors, the aqueous phase chemical composition of SOA was further investigated using offline measurements, i.e. ion chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (IC-MS) and an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometer (APCI-MS) equipped with high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC-MS). These analyses showed that aqueous phase processing enhanced the formation of some compounds already present in the SOA, thus confirming the aging effect of aqueous phase processes. For isoprene experiments, additional new compounds, likely oligomers, were formed through aqueous phase photooxidation, and their possible origins are discussed.

Citation: Yao Liu, Tritscher, T., Praplan, A. P., DeCarlo, P. F., Temime-Roussel, B., Quivet, E., Marchand, N., Dommen, J., Baltensperger, U., and Monod, A.: Aqueous phase processing of secondary organic aerosols, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 21489-21532, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-21489-2011, 2011.
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