Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2017-6
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
11 Jan 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Global-scale combustion sources of organic aerosols: Sensitivity to formation and removal mechanisms
Alexandra P. Tsimpidi1, Vlassis A. Karydis1, Spyros N. Pandis2,3, and Jos Lelieveld1,4 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
3Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
4Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
Abstract. Organic compounds from combustion sources such as biomass burning and fossil fuel use are major contributors to the global atmospheric load of aerosols. We analyzed the sensitivity of model-predicted global-scale organic aerosols (OA) to parameters that control primary emissions, photochemical aging and the scavenging efficiency of organic vapors. We used a computationally efficient module for the description of OA composition and evolution in the atmosphere (ORACLE) of the global chemistry-climate model EMAC. A global dataset of aerosol mass spectrometer measurements was used to evaluate simulated primary (POA) and secondary OA (SOA) concentrations. Model results are sensitive to the emission rates of intermediate volatility organic compounds (IVOCs) and POA. Assuming enhanced reactivity of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and IVOCs with OH substantially improved the model performance for SOA. Use of a hybrid approach for the parameterization of the aging of IVOCs had a small effect on predicted SOA levels. The model performance improved by assuming that freshly emitted organic compounds are relatively hydrophobic and become increasingly hygroscopic due to oxidation.

Citation: Tsimpidi, A. P., Karydis, V. A., Pandis, S. N., and Lelieveld, J.: Global-scale combustion sources of organic aerosols: Sensitivity to formation and removal mechanisms, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2017-6, in review, 2017.
Alexandra P. Tsimpidi et al.
Alexandra P. Tsimpidi et al.
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We analyzed the sensitivity of model-predicted global-scale OA to parameters and assumptions that control primary emissions, photochemical aging and the scavenging efficiency of LVOCs, SVOCs and IVOCs. The simulated OA concentrations were evaluated against a global dataset of AMS measurements. According to our analysis, a combination of increased IVOCs, and decreased hygroscopicity of the freshly emitted IVOCs can help reduce discrepancies between simulated SOA and observed OOA concentrations.
We analyzed the sensitivity of model-predicted global-scale OA to parameters and assumptions...
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