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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1191
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1191
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 20 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Aerosol light absorption and the role of extremely low volatility organic compounds

Antonios Tasoglou1,5, Evangelos Louvaris2,3, Kalliopi Florou2,3, Aikaterini Liangou2,3, Eleni Karnezi1, Christos Kaltsonoudis4, Ningxin Wang1, and Spyros N. Pandis1,2,3 Antonios Tasoglou et al.
  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
  • 2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
  • 3Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICE-HT), FORTH, Patras, Greece
  • 4Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
  • 5RJ Lee Group, Inc., Monroeville, USA

Abstract. A month-long set of summertime measurements in a remote area in the Mediterranean is used to quantify aerosol absorption and the role of black and brown carbon. The suite of instruments included a high-resolution Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS), and a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) both coupled to a thermodenuder and an aethalometer, a photoacoustic extinctiometer (PAX405), a Multi-Angle Absorption Photometer (MAAP), and a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2).

The average refractory black carbon (rBC) concentration during the campaign was 0.14 μg m−3, representing 3 % of the fine aerosol mass. The measured light absorption was two or more times higher than that of fresh black carbon (BC). Mie theory indicated that the absorption enhancement due to the coating of BC cores by non-refractory material could explain only part of this absorption enhancement. The role of brown carbon (BrC) and other non-BC light-absorbing material was then investigated. A good correlation (R2 = 0.65) between the unexplained absorption and the concentration of extremely low volatility organic compounds (ELVOCs) mass was found.

Antonios Tasoglou et al.

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Antonios Tasoglou et al.

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Short summary
A month-long set of summertime measurements in a remote area in the Mediterranean is used to quantify aerosol absorption. The measured light absorption was two or more times higher than that of fresh black carbon. The absorption enhancement due to the coating of black carbon cores by other aerosol components could explain only part of this absorption enhancement. The rest was due to brown carbon mostly in the form of extremely low volatility organic compounds.
A month-long set of summertime measurements in a remote area in the Mediterranean is used to...
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