Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 14613-14635, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. 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.
The role of low volatile organics on secondary organic aerosol formation
H. Kokkola1, P. Yli-Pirilä2, M. Vesterinen1, H. Korhonen1, H. Keskinen2, S. Romakkaniemi2, L. Hao2, A. Kortelainen2, J. Joutsensaari2, D. R. Worsnop2,3, A. Virtanen2, and K. E. J. Lehtinen1,2
1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio Unit, P.O. Box 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland
2University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland
3Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, MA, 01821-3976, USA

Abstract. Large-scale atmospheric models, which typically describe secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation based on chamber experiments, tend to systematically underestimate observed organic aerosol burdens. Since SOA constitutes a significant fraction of atmospheric aerosol, this discrepancy translates to an underestimation of SOA contribution to climate. Here we show that the underestimation of SOA yields can partly be explained by wall-losses of SOA forming compounds during chamber experiments. We present a chamber experiment where α-pinene and ozone are injected in a Teflon chamber. When these two compounds react, we observe rapid formation and growth of new particles. Theoretical analysis of this formation and growth event indicates rapid formation of oxidized organic compounds (OVOC) of very low volatility in the chamber. Although these OVOCs of very low volatility contribute to the growth of new particles, their mass will almost completely be depleted to the chamber walls during the experiment while the depletion of OVOCs of higher volatilities is less efficient. According to our model simulations, the volatilities of OVOC contributing to the new particle formation event are of the order of 10−5 μg m−3.

Citation: Kokkola, H., Yli-Pirilä, P., Vesterinen, M., Korhonen, H., Keskinen, H., Romakkaniemi, S., Hao, L., Kortelainen, A., Joutsensaari, J., Worsnop, D. R., Virtanen, A., and Lehtinen, K. E. J.: The role of low volatile organics on secondary organic aerosol formation, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 14613-14635, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-14613-2013, 2013.
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