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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1166
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1166
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Nov 2018

Research article | 26 Nov 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Simulation of the chemical evolution of biomass burning organic aerosol

Georgia N. Theodoritsi1,2 and Spyros N. Pandis1,2,3 Georgia N. Theodoritsi and Spyros N. Pandis
  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
  • 2Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH/ICE-HT), Patras, Greece
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Abstract. The chemical transport model PMCAMx was extended to investigate the effects of partitioning and photochemical aging of biomass burning emissions on organic aerosol (OA) concentrations. A source-resolved version of the model, PMCAMx-SR, was developed in which biomass burning organic aerosol (bbOA) and its oxidation products are represented separately from the other OA components. The volatility distribution of bbOA and its chemical aging were simulated based on recent laboratory measurements. PMCAMx-SR was applied to Europe during an early summer (1–29 May 2008) and a winter period (25 February–22 March 2009).

During the early summer, the contribution of biomass burning (both primary and secondary species) to total OA levels over continental Europe was estimated to be approximately 16%. During winter the same contribution was nearly 47% due to both extensive residential wood combustion, but also wildfires in Portugal and Spain. The intermediate volatility compounds (IVOCs) with effective saturation concentration values of 105 and 106μgm−3 are predicted to contribute around one third of the bbOA during the summer and 15% during the winter by forming secondary OA. The uncertain emissions of these compounds and their SOA formation potential require additional attention. Evaluation of PMCAMx-SR predictions against aerosol mass spectrometer measurements in several sites around Europe suggests reasonably good performance for OA (fractional bias less than 35% and fractional error less than 50%). The performance was weaker during the winter suggesting uncertainties in the residential heating emissions and the simulation of the resulting bbOA in this season.

Georgia N. Theodoritsi and Spyros N. Pandis
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Georgia N. Theodoritsi and Spyros N. Pandis
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The chemical transport model PMCAMx was extended to investigate the effects of partitioning and photochemical aging of biomass burning emissions on organic aerosol (OA) concentrations and was applied in Europe. During the summer, the contribution of biomass burning to total OA levels over continental Europe was 16 % and during winter 47 %. Intermediate volatility organic compounds are predicted to be important precursors of secondary OA from biomass burning.
The chemical transport model PMCAMx was extended to investigate the effects of partitioning and...
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