Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 10065-10096, 2007
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/7/10065/2007/
doi:10.5194/acpd-7-10065-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Evolving mass spectra of the oxidized component of organic aerosol: results from aerosol mass spectrometer analyses of aged diesel emissions
A. M. Sage, E. A. Weitkamp, A. L. Robinson, and N. M. Donahue
Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University; Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Abstract. The species and chemistry responsible for secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation remain highly uncertain. Laboratory studies of the oxidation of individual, high-flux SOA precursors do not lead to particles with mass spectra (MS) matching those of ambient aged organic material. And, the complexity of real organic particles challenges efforts to identify their chemical origins. We have previously hypothesized that SOA can form from the atmospheric oxidation of a large suite of precursors with varying vapor pressures. Here, we support this hypothesis by using an aerosol mass spectrometer to track the chemical evolution of diesel exhaust as it is photochemically oxidized in an environmental chamber. With explicit knowledge of the condensed-phase MS of the primary emissions from our engine, we are able to decompose each recorded MS into contributing primary and secondary spectra throughout the experiment. We find that the SOA MS becomes increasingly oxidized as a function of time, eventually reaching a final MS that closely resembles that of ambient aged organic particulate matter. This observation is consistent with the idea that lower vapor pressure, semi-volatile organic emissions can form condensable products with fewer generations of oxidation, and therefore, they form relatively less oxidized SOA very quickly.

Citation: Sage, A. M., Weitkamp, E. A., Robinson, A. L., and Donahue, N. M.: Evolving mass spectra of the oxidized component of organic aerosol: results from aerosol mass spectrometer analyses of aged diesel emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 10065-10096, doi:10.5194/acpd-7-10065-2007, 2007.
 
Search ACPD
Discussion Paper
    XML
    Citation
    Final Revised Paper
    Share