Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 1-16, 2005
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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.
Nanoparticle formation by ozonolysis of inducible plant volatiles
J. Joutsensaari1, M. Loivamäki2,3, T. Vuorinen2, P. Miettinen1, A.-M. Nerg2, J. K. Holopainen2, and A. Laaksonen1
1Department of Applied Physics, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland
2Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, Kuopio FIN-70211, Finland
3Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research – Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Kreuzeckbahnstrasse 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Abstract. We present the first laboratory experiments of aerosol formation from oxidation of volatile organic species emitted by living plants, a process which for half a century has been known to take place in the atmosphere. We have treated white cabbage crops with methyl jasmonate in order to induce the production of monoterpenes and certain less-volatile sesqui- and homoterpenes. Ozone was introduced into the growth chamber in which the crops were placed, and the subsequent aerosol formation and growth of aerosols were monitored by measuring the particle size distributions continuously during the experiments. Our observations show similar particle formation rates as in the atmosphere but much higher growth rates. The results indicate that the concentrations of nonvolatile oxidation products of plant released precursors needed to induce the nucleation are roughly an order-of-magnitude higher than their concentrations during atmospheric nucleation events. Our results therefore suggest that atmospheric nucleation events proceed via condensation of oxidized organics on pre-existing molecular clusters rather than via their homogeneous or ion-induced nucleation.

Citation: Joutsensaari, J., Loivamäki, M., Vuorinen, T., Miettinen, P., Nerg, A.-M., Holopainen, J. K., and Laaksonen, A.: Nanoparticle formation by ozonolysis of inducible plant volatiles, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 1-16, doi:10.5194/acpd-5-1-2005, 2005.
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