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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-683
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-683
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Jul 2018

Research article | 25 Jul 2018

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

Physicochemical uptake and release of volatile organic compounds by soil in coated-wall flow tube experiments with ambient air

Guo Li1,3, Yafang Cheng1,2, Uwe Kuhn1, Rongjuan Xu3, Yudong Yang3, Hannah Meusel1, Nan Ma2, Yusheng Wu4, Meng Li1, Jonathan Williams1, Thorsten Hoffmann5, Markus Ammann6, Ulrich Pöschl1, Min Shao2, and Hang Su2,1 Guo Li et al.
  • 1Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
  • 3College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 5Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • 6Laboratory of Environmental Chemi stry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland

Abstract. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play a key role in atmospheric chemistry. Emission and deposition on soil have been suggested as important sources and sinks of atmospheric trace gases. The exchange characteristics and heterogeneous chemistry of VOCs on soil, however, are not well understood. We used a newly designed differential coated-wall flow tube system to investigate the long-term variability of bidirectional air-soil exchange of 13 VOCs at ambient air conditions of an urban background site in Beijing. Sterilized soil was investigated to address physicochemical processes and heterogeneous/multiphase reactions independently from biological activity. Most VOCs revealed net deposition with average uptake coefficients (γ) in the range of 10-7–10-6 (referring to the geometric soil surface area), corresponding to deposition velocities (Vd) of 0.0013–0.01cms-1 and soil surface resistances (Rc) of 98–745scm-1, respectively. Formic acid, however, was emitted at a long-term average rate of ~6×10-3nmolm-2s-1, suggesting that it was formed and released upon heterogeneous oxidation of other VOCs. The soil-atmosphere exchange of one individual VOC species can be affected by both its surface degradation/depletion caused by surface reactions and by competitive uptake or heterogeneous formation/accommodation of other VOC species. Overall, the results show that physicochemical processing and heterogeneous oxidation on soil and soil-derived dust can act as a sink or as a source of atmospheric VOCs, depending on molecular properties and environmental conditions.

Guo Li et al.
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Short summary
VOCs play a key role in atmospheric chemistry. Emission and deposition on soil have been suggested as important sources and sinks of atmospheric trace gases. The exchange characteristics and heterogeneous chemistry of VOCs on soil, however, are not well understood. We used a newly designed differential coated-wall flow tube system to investigate the long-term variability of bidirectional air-soil exchange of 13 VOCs at ambient air conditions of an urban background site in Beijing.
VOCs play a key role in atmospheric chemistry. Emission and deposition on soil have been...
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