Aerosol mass yields of selected biogenic volatile organic compounds – a theoretical study with nearly explicit gas-phase chemistry

Xavier, Carlton; Rusanen, Anton; Zhou, Putian; Dean, Chen; Pichelstorfer, Lukas; Roldin, Pontus; Boy, Michael

In this study we modeled secondary organic aerosol (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 an idealized smog chamber and oxidative flow reactors (OFRs). 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 predicting SOA formation. SOA yields were in good agreement with experimental values for chamber simulations when MCM + PRAM was applied, while a stand-alone MCM underpredicted the SOA yields. Compared to experimental yields, the OFR simulations using MCM + PRAM yields were in good agreement for BVOCs oxidized by both O3 and OH. On the other hand, a stand-alone MCM underpredicted the SOA mass yields. 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 yield estimation.

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Xavier, Carlton / Rusanen, Anton / Zhou, Putian / et al: Aerosol mass yields of selected biogenic volatile organic compounds – a theoretical study with nearly explicit gas-phase chemistry. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Carlton Xavier et al.

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