Development of a multiphase chemical mechanism to improve secondary organic aerosol formation in CAABA/MECCA (version 4.7.0)

Wieser, Felix; Sander, Rolf; Cho, Changmin; Fuchs, Hendrik; Hohaus, Thorsten; Novelli, Anna; Tillmann, Ralf; Taraborrelli, Domenico

During the last few decades, the impact of multiphase chemistry on secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) has been demonstrated to be the key to explaining laboratory experiments and field measurements. However, global atmospheric models still show large biases when simulating atmospheric observations of organic aerosols (OAs). Major reasons for the model errors are the use of simplified chemistry schemes of the gas-phase oxidation of vapours and the parameterization of heterogeneous surface reactions. The photochemical oxidation of anthropogenic and biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) leads to products that either produce new SOA or are taken up by existing aqueous media like cloud droplets and deliquescent aerosols. After partitioning, aqueous-phase processing results in polyols, organosulfates, and other products with a high molar mass and oxygen content. In this work, we introduce the formation of new low-volatility organic compounds (LVOCs) to the multiphase chemistry box model CAABA/MECCA. Most notable are the additions of the SOA precursors, limonene and inline-formulan-alkanes (5 to 8 C atoms), and a semi-explicit chemical mechanism for the formation of LVOCs from isoprene oxidation in the gas and aqueous phases. Moreover, Henry's law solubility constants and their temperature dependences are estimated for the partitioning of organic molecules to the aqueous phase. Box model simulations indicate that the new chemical scheme predicts the enhanced formation of LVOCs, which are known for being precursor species to SOAs. As expected, the model predicts that LVOCs are positively correlated to temperature but negatively correlated to inline-formulaNOx levels. However, the aqueous-phase processing of isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX) displays a more complex dependence on these two key variables. Semi-quantitative comparison with observations from the SOAS campaign suggests that the model may overestimate methylbutane-1,2,3,4-tetrol (MeBuTETROL) from IEPOX. Further application of the mechanism in the modelling of two chamber experiments, one in which limonene is consumed by ozone and one in which isoprene is consumed by inline-formulaNO3 shows a sufficient agreement with experimental results within model limitations. The extensions in CAABA/MECCA are transferred to the 3D atmospheric model MESSy for a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of aqueous- and/or aerosol-phase chemistry on SOA at a global scale in a follow-up study.

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Wieser, Felix / Sander, Rolf / Cho, Changmin / et al: Development of a multiphase chemical mechanism to improve secondary organic aerosol formation in CAABA/MECCA (version 4.7.0). 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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