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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-145
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-145
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 30 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurements of higher alkanes using NO+PTR-ToF-MS: significant contributions of higher alkanes to secondary organic aerosols in China

Chaomin Wang1,2, Caihong Wu1,2, Sihang Wang1,2, Jipeng Qi1,2, Baolin Wang3, Zelong Wang1,2, Weiwei Hu4, Wei Chen4, Chenshuo Ye5, Wenjie Wang5, Yele Sun6, Chen Wang3, Shan Huang1,2, Wei Song4, Xinming Wang4, Suxia Yang1,2, Shenyang Zhang1,2, Wanyun Xu7, Nan Ma1,2, Zhanyi Zhang1,2, Bin Jiang1,2, Hang Su8, Yafang Cheng8, Xuemei Wang1,2, Min Shao1,2, and Bin Yuan1,2 Chaomin Wang et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, 511443 Guangzhou, China
  • 2Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Joint Laboratory of Collaborative Innovation for Environmental Quality, 511443 Guangzhou, China
  • 3School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Qilu University of Technology, 250353 Jinan, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Resources Utilization, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 510640 Guangzhou, China
  • 5State Joint Key Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, 100871 Beijing, China
  • 6State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100029 Beijing, China
  • 7State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather & Key Laboratory for Atmospheric Chemistry of China Meteorology Administration, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, 100081 Beijing, China
  • 8Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55128, Germany

Abstract. Higher alkanes are a major class of intermediate-volatility organic compounds (IVOCs), which have been proposed to be important precursors of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) in the atmosphere. Accurate estimation of SOA from higher alkanes and their oxidation processes in the atmosphere are limited, partially due to difficulty in their measurements. High-time resolution (10 s) measurements of higher alkanes were performed using a novel online mass spectrometry method at an urban site of Guangzhou in Pearl River Delta (PRD) and at a rural site in North China Plain (NCP), respectively. High concentrations were observed in both environments, with significant diurnal variations. At both sites, SOA production from higher alkanes is estimated from their photochemical losses and SOA yields. Higher alkanes account for significant fractions of SOA formation at the two sites, with average contributions of 7.0 ± 8.0 % in Guangzhou and 7.1 ± 9.5 % in NCP, which are comparable or even higher than both single-ring aromatics and naphthalenes. The significant contributions of higher alkanes in SOA formation suggests that they should be explicitly included in current models for SOA formation. Our work also highlights the importance of NO+PTR-ToF-MS in measuring higher alkanes and quantifying their contributions to SOA formation.

Chaomin Wang et al.

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Short summary
We utilized a novel online mass spectrometry method to measure the total concentration of higher alkanes at each carbon number at two different sites in China, allowing to take into account SOA contributions from all isomers for higher alkanes. We found that higher alkanes account for significant fractions of SOA formation at the two sites. The contributions are comparable or even higher than single-ring aromatics, the mostly recognized SOA precursors in urban air.
We utilized a novel online mass spectrometry method to measure the total concentration of higher...
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