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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-666
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-666
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 07 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 07 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Mechanistic Study of Formation of Ring-retaining and Ring-opening Products from Oxidation of Aromatic Compounds under Urban Atmospheric Conditions

Alexander Zaytsev1, Abigail R. Koss2, Martin Breitenlechner1, Jordan E. Krechmer3, Kevin J. Nihill2, Christopher Y. Lim2, James C. Rowe2, Joshua L. Cox4, Joshua Moss2, Joseph R. Roscioli3, Manjula R. Canagaratna3, Douglas R. Worsnop3, Jesse H. Kroll2, and Frank N. Keutsch1,4,5 Alexander Zaytsev et al.
  • 1John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
  • 3Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, MA 01821, USA
  • 4Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
  • 5Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Abstract. Aromatic hydrocarbons make up a large fraction of anthropogenic volatile organic compounds and contribute significantly to the production of tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosol (SOA). A series of toluene and 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (1,2,4-TMB) photooxidation experiments were performed in an environmental chamber under relevant polluted conditions (NOx ~ 10 ppb). An extensive suite of instrumentation including two Proton-Transfer Reaction Mass-Spectrometers (PTR-MS) and two Chemical Ionization Mass-Spectrometers (NH4+ CIMS and I- CIMS) allowed for quantification of reactive carbon in multiple generations of oxidation. Hydroxyl radical (OH)-initiated oxidation of both species produces ring-retaining products such as cresols, benzaldehydes, and bicyclic intermediate compounds, as well as ring scission products such as epoxides, and dicarbonyls. We show that the oxidation of bicyclic intermediate products leads to formation of compounds with high oxygen content (O:C ratio up to 1.1). These compounds, previously identified as highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs), are produced by more than one pathway with differing numbers of reaction steps with OH, including both autooxidation and phenolic pathways. We report the elemental composition of these compounds formed under relevant urban high-NO conditions. We show that ring-retaining products for these two precursors are more diverse and abundant than predicted by current mechanisms. We present speciated elemental composition of SOA for both precursors and confirm that highly oxygenated products make up a significant fraction of SOA. Ring scission products are also detected in both the gas and particle phases, and their yields and speciation overall agree with the kinetic model prediction.

Alexander Zaytsev et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Alexander Zaytsev et al.
Alexander Zaytsev et al.
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Short summary
Aromatic hydrocarbons contribute significantly to the production of tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosol. Here later-generation low-volatility oxygenated products from toluene and 124-TMB oxidation by OH are detected in the gas and particle phases. We show that these products, previously identified as highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs), are formed in more than one pathway with differing numbers of reaction steps with OH. These products also make up a significant fraction of SOA.
Aromatic hydrocarbons contribute significantly to the production of tropospheric ozone and...
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