1Department of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
2Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, 60176 Norrköping, Sweden
3TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands
4Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen, Switzerland
5Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
6EMEP MSC-W, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
7Dept. Earth & Space Sciences, Chalmers Univ. Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Abstract. A new organic aerosol (OA) module has been implemented into the EMEP chemical transport model. Four different volatility basis set (VBS) schemes have been tested in long-term simulations for Europe, covering the six years 2002–2007. Different assumptions regarding partitioning of primary OA (POA) and aging of POA and secondary OA (SOA), have been explored. Model results are compared to filter measurements, AMS-data and source-apportionment studies, as well as to other model studies. The present study indicates that many different sources contribute significantly to OA in Europe. Fossil POA and oxidised POA, biogenic and anthropogenic SOA (BSOA and ASOA), residential burning of biomass fuels and wildfire emissions may all contribute more than 10% each over substantial parts of Europe. Simple VBS based OA models can give reasonably good results for summer OA but more observational studies are needed to constrain the VBS parameterisations and to help improve emission inventories. The volatility distribution of primary emissions is an important issue for further work. This study shows smaller contributions from BSOA to OA in Europe than earlier work, but relatively greater ASOA. BVOC emissions are highly uncertain and need further validation. We can not reproduce winter levels of OA in Europe, and there are many indications that the present emission inventories substantially underestimate emissions from residential wood burning in large parts of Europe.