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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-424
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-424
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 May 2019

Research article | 29 May 2019

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

Aerosol Mass yields of selected Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds – a theoretical study with near explicit gas-phase chemistry

Carlton Xavier1, Anton Rusanen1, Putian Zhou1, Chen Dean1, Lukas Pichelstorfer1, Pontus Roldin2, and Michael Boy1 Carlton Xavier et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Earth Systems Research (INAR), Physics, University of Helsinki
  • 2Division of Nuclear Physics, Lund University, Box 118, SE-22100, Lund, Sweden

Abstract. In this study we modeled secondary organic aerosols (SOA) mass loadings from the oxidation (by O3, OH and NO3) of five representative Biogenic Volatile Organic compounds (BVOCs): isoprene, endocyclic bond containing monoterpenes (α-pinene and limonene), exocyclic double bond compound (β-pinene) and a sesquiterpene (β-caryophyllene). The simulations were designed to replicate idealized smog chamber and oxidative flow reactors (OFR). The master chemical mechanism (MCM) together with the peroxy radical autoxidation mechanism (PRAM), were used to simulate the gas-phase chemistry. The aim of this study was to compare the potency of MCM and MCM+PRAM in predicating SOA formation. SOA yields were in good agreement with experimental values for chamber simulations when MCM+PRAM mechanism was applied, while a standalone MCM under-predicted the SOA yields. Compared to experimental yields, the OFR simulations using the MCM+PRAM mechanism over-predicted SOA mass yields for BVOCs oxidized by O3 and OH, probably owing to increased seed particle surface area used in the OFR simulations. SOA yields increased with decreasing temperatures and NO concentrations and vice-versa. This highlights the limitations posed when using fixed SOA yields in a majority of global and regional models. Few compounds that play a crucial role (> 95 % of mass load) in contributing to SOA mass increase (using MCM+PRAM) are identified. The results further emphasized that incorporating PRAM in conjunction with MCM does improve SOA mass yields estimation.

Carlton Xavier et al.
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Short summary
Master chemical mechanism (MCM) coupled to Peroxy radical autoxidation mechanism (PRAM) was used to simulate secondary organic aerosol mass loadings from oxidation of five selected biogenic volatile organic compounds. The simulations were designed to replicate idealized chamber and oxidative flow tube setups. The mass yields using MCM+PRAM are in good agreement with the experimental yields, thereby allowing us to highlight a few important compounds which contribute to (> 95 %) of mass loadings.
Master chemical mechanism (MCM) coupled to Peroxy radical autoxidation mechanism (PRAM) was used...
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