skip to main content

Title: Predictions of the glass transition temperature and viscosity of organic aerosols from volatility distributions
Abstract. Volatility and viscosity are important properties of organic aerosols (OA),affecting aerosol processes such as formation, evolution, and partitioning ofOA. Volatility distributions of ambient OA particles have often beenmeasured, while viscosity measurements are scarce. We have previouslydeveloped a method to estimate the glass transition temperature (Tg) ofan organic compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Based onanalysis of over 2400 organic compounds including oxygenated organiccompounds, as well as nitrogen- and sulfur-containing organic compounds, weextend this method to include nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compoundsbased on elemental composition. In addition, parameterizations are developedto predict Tg as a function of volatility and the atomicoxygen-to-carbon ratio based on a negative correlation between Tg andvolatility. This prediction method of Tg is applied to ambientobservations of volatility distributions at 11 field sites. Thepredicted Tg values of OA under dry conditions vary mainly from 290 to 339 Kand the predicted viscosities are consistent with the results of ambientparticle-phase-state measurements in the southeastern US and the Amazonianrain forest. Reducing the uncertainties in measured volatility distributionswould improve predictions of viscosity, especially at low relative humidity.We also predict the Tg of OA components identified via positive matrixfactorization of aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) data. The predicted viscosity ofoxidized OA is consistent with previously reported viscosity of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) derivedfrom α-pinene, toluene, isoprene epoxydiol (IEPOX), and diesel fuel.Comparison of the predicted viscosity based on the observed volatilitydistributions with the viscosity simulated by a chemical transport modelimplies that missing low volatility compounds in a global model can lead tounderestimation of OA viscosity at some sites. The relation betweenvolatility and viscosity can be applied in the molecular corridor orvolatility basis set approaches to improve OA simulations in chemicaltransport models by consideration of effects of particle viscosity in OAformation and evolution.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1822664 1654104
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
8103 to 8122
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    To quantify the volatility of organic aerosols (OA), a comprehensive campaign was conducted in the Chinese megacity. Volatility distributions of OA and particle‐phase organic nitrate (pON) were estimated based on five methods: (a) empirical method and (b) kinetic model based on the measurement of a thermodenuder (TD) coupled with an aerosol mass spectrometer; (c) Formula‐based SIMPOL model‐driven method; (d) Element‐based estimations using molecular formula measurements of OA; and (e) gas/particle partitioning. Our results demonstrate that the ambient OA volatility distribution shows good agreement between the two heating methods and the formula‐based method when assuming ambient OA was mainly composed of organic nitrate (pON), organic sulfate and acid groups using the SIMPOL model. However, the element‐based method tends to overestimate the volatility of OA compared to the above three methods, suggesting large uncertainties in the parameterizations or in the representativeness of the molecular measurements that need further refinement. The volatility of ambient OA is generally lower than that of the laboratory‐derived secondary OA, emphasizing the impact of aging. A large fraction at the higher and lower volatility ranges (approximately logC* ≤ −9 and ≥2 μg m−3) was found for pON, implying the importance of both extremely low volatile and semi‐volatile species. Overall, this study evaluates different methods for volatility estimation and gives new insight into the volatility of OA and pON in urban areas.

    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract. Forest fires are major contributors of reactive gas- and particle-phaseorganic compounds to the atmosphere. We used offline high-resolution tandemmass spectrometry to perform a molecular-level speciation of gas- andparticle-phase compounds sampled via aircraft from an evolving boreal forestfire smoke plume in Saskatchewan, Canada. We observed diversemultifunctional compounds containing oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur (CHONS),whose structures, formation, and impacts are understudied. Thedilution-corrected absolute ion abundance of particle-phase CHONS compoundsincreased with plume age by a factor of 6.4 over the first 4 h ofdownwind transport, and their relative contribution to the observedfunctionalized organic aerosol (OA) mixture increased from 19 % to 40 %.The dilution-corrected absolute ion abundance of particle-phase compoundswith sulfide functional groups increased by a factor of 13 with plume age,and their relative contribution to observed OA increased from 4 % to40 %. Sulfides were present in up to 75 % of CHONS compounds and theincreases in sulfides were accompanied by increases in ring-bound nitrogen;both increased together with CHONS prevalence. A complex mixture ofintermediate- and semi-volatile gas-phase organic sulfur species wasobserved in emissions from the fire and depleted downwind, representingpotential precursors to particle-phase CHONS compounds. These resultsdemonstrate CHONS formation from nitrogen- and oxygen-containing biomass burningemissions in the presence of reduced sulfur species. In addition, theyhighlight chemical pathways that may also be relevant in situations withelevated emissions of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing organic compounds fromresidential biomass burning and fossil fuel use (e.g., coal), respectively. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    The remote central Arctic during summertime has a pristine atmosphere with very low aerosol particle concentrations. As the region becomes increasingly ice-free during summer, enhanced ocean-atmosphere fluxes of aerosol particles and precursor gases may therefore have impacts on the climate. However, large knowledge gaps remain regarding the sources and physicochemical properties of aerosols in this region. Here, we present insights into the molecular composition of semi-volatile aerosol components collected in September 2018 during the MOCCHA (Microbiology-Ocean-Cloud-Coupling in the High Arctic) campaign as part of the Arctic Ocean 2018 expedition with the Swedish Icebreaker Oden . Analysis was performed offline in the laboratory using an iodide High Resolution Time-of-Flight Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer with a Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols (FIGAERO-HRToF-CIMS). Our analysis revealed significant signal from organic and sulfur-containing compounds, indicative of marine aerosol sources, with a wide range of carbon numbers and O : C ratios. Several of the sulfur-containing compounds are oxidation products of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a gas released by phytoplankton and ice algae. Comparison of the time series of particulate and gas-phase DMS oxidation products did not reveal a significant correlation, indicative of the different lifetimes of precursor and oxidation products in the different phases. This is the first time the FIGAERO-HRToF-CIMS was used to investigate the composition of aerosols in the central Arctic. The detailed information on the molecular composition of Arctic aerosols presented here can be used for the assessment of aerosol solubility and volatility, which is relevant for understanding aerosol–cloud interactions. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We present a new volatility basis set (VBS) representation of aromatic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) for atmospheric chemistry models by fitting a statistical oxidation model with aerosol microphysics (SOM‐TOMAS) to results from laboratory chamber experiments. The resulting SOM‐VBS scheme also including previous work on SOA formation from semi‐ and intermediate volatile organic compounds (S/IVOCs) is implemented in the GEOS‐Chem chemical transport model and applied to simulation of observations from the Korea‐United States Air Quality Study (KORUS‐AQ) field campaign over South Korea in May–June 2016. Our SOM‐VBS scheme can simulate the KORUS‐AQ organic aerosol (OA) observations from aircraft and surface sites better than the default schemes used in GEOS‐Chem including for vertical profiles, diurnal cycle, and partitioning between hydrocarbon‐like OA and oxidized OA. Our results confirm the important contributions of oxidized primary OA and aromatic SOA found in previous analyses of the KORUS‐AQ data and further show a large contribution from S/IVOCs. Model source attribution of OA in surface air over South Korea indicates one third from domestic anthropogenic emissions, with a large contribution from toluene and xylenes, one third from external anthropogenic emissions, and one third from natural emissions.

    more » « less
  5. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) accounts for a large fraction of submicron particles in the atmosphere. SOA can occur in amorphous solid or semi-solid phase states depending on chemical composition, relative humidity (RH), and temperature. The phase transition between amorphous solid and semi-solid states occurs at the glass transition temperature (Tg). We have recently developed a method to estimate Tg of pure compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms (CHO compounds) with molar mass less than 450 g mol−1 based on their molar mass and atomic O : C ratio. In this study, we refine and extend this method for CH and CHO compounds with molar mass up to ∼ 1100 g mol−1 using the number of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. We predict viscosity from the Tg-scaled Arrhenius plot of fragility (viscosity vs. TgT) as a function of the fragility parameter D. We compiled D values of organic compounds from the literature and found that D approaches a lower limit of ∼ 10 (±1.7) as the molar mass increases. We estimated the viscosity of α-pinene and isoprene SOA as a function of RH by accounting for the hygroscopic growth of SOA and applying the Gordon–Taylor mixing rule, reproducing previously published experimental measurements very well. Sensitivity studies were conducted to evaluate impacts of Tg, D, the hygroscopicity parameter (κ), and the Gordon–Taylor constant on viscosity predictions. The viscosity of toluene SOA was predicted using the elemental composition obtained by high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), resulting in a good agreement with the measured viscosity. We also estimated the viscosity of biomass burning particles using the chemical composition measured by HRMS with two different ionization techniques: electrospray ionization (ESI) and atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI). Due to differences in detected organic compounds and signal intensity, predicted viscosities at low RH based on ESI and APPI measurements differ by 2–5 orders of magnitude. Complementary measurements of viscosity and chemical composition are desired to further constrain RH-dependent viscosity in future studies. 
    more » « less