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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1109
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
02 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Large Contributions from Biogenic Monoterpenes and Sesquiterpenes to Organic Aerosol in the Southeastern United States
Lu Xu1,a, Havala O. T. Pye2, Jia He3, Yunle Chen4, Benjamin N. Murphy2, and Nga Lee Ng1,3 1School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
2National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
3School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
4School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
apresent address: Division of Geological and Planetar Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Abstract. Atmospheric organic aerosol (OA) has important impacts on climate and human health but its sources remain poorly understood. Biogenic monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are critical precursors of OA. The OA generation from these precursors predicted by models has considerable uncertainty owing to a lack of appropriate observations as constraints. Here, we perform novel lab-in-the-field experiments, which allow us to study OA formation under realistic atmospheric conditions and offer a connection between laboratory and field studies. Based on the lab-in-the-field experimental approach and positive matrix factorization analysis on aerosol mass spectrometry data, we provide a measure of OA from monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes in the southeastern U.S. Further, we use an upgraded atmospheric model and reproduce the measured OA concentration from monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes at multiple sites in the southeastern U.S., building confidence in the observed attribution of monoterpene SOA. We show that the annual average concentration of OA from monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes in the southeastern U.S. is ~ 2.1 µg m−3. This amount is substantially higher than represented in current regional models and accounts for 21 % of World Health Organization PM2.5 standard, indicating a significant contributor of environmental risk to the 77 million habitants in the southeastern U.S.
Citation: Xu, L., Pye, H. O. T., He, J., Chen, Y., Murphy, B. N., and Ng, N. L.: Large Contributions from Biogenic Monoterpenes and Sesquiterpenes to Organic Aerosol in the Southeastern United States, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1109, in review, 2018.
Lu Xu et al.
Lu Xu et al.

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In this study, we integrate lab-in-the-field experiments, extensive ambient ground measurements, and state-of-the-art modeling to constrain the concentration of organic aerosol from biogenic monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Further, we show that the organic aerosol from the investigated sources accounts for about 21 % of World Health Organization PM2.5 standard in the southeastern U.S.
In this study, we integrate lab-in-the-field experiments, extensive ambient ground measurements,...
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