skip to main content

Title: Modelling the gas–particle partitioning and water uptake of isoprene-derived secondary organic aerosol at high and low relative humidity
Abstract. This study presents a characterization of the hygroscopic growth behaviour and effects of different inorganic seed particles on the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) from the dark ozone-initiated oxidation of isoprene at low NOx conditions. We performed simulations of isoprene oxidation using a gas-phase chemical reaction mechanism based onthe Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM) in combination with an equilibriumgas–particle partitioning model to predict the SOA concentration. Theequilibrium model accounts for non-ideal mixing in liquid phases, includingliquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS), and is based on the AIOMFAC (Aerosol Inorganic–Organic Mixtures Functional groups Activity Coefficients) model for mixture non-ideality and the EVAPORATION (Estimation of VApour Pressure of ORganics, Accounting for Temperature,Intramolecular, and Non-additivity effects) model for pure compound vapourpressures. Measurements from the Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets (CLOUD)chamber experiments, conducted at the European Organization for NuclearResearch (CERN) for isoprene ozonolysis cases, were used to aid inparameterizing the SOA yields at different atmospherically relevanttemperatures, relative humidity (RH), and reacted isoprene concentrations. To represent the isoprene-ozonolysis-derived SOA, a selection of organicsurrogate species is introduced in the coupled modelling system. The modelpredicts a single, homogeneously mixed particle phase at all relativehumidity levels for SOA formation in the absence of any inorganic seedparticles. In the presence of more » aqueous sulfuric acid or ammonium bisulfateseed particles, the model predicts LLPS to occur below ∼ 80 % RH, where the particles consist of an inorganic-rich liquid phase andan organic-rich liquid phase; however, this includes significant amounts of bisulfate and water partitioned to the organic-rich phase. The measurements show an enhancement in the SOA amounts at 85 % RH, compared to 35 % RH, for both the seed-free and seeded cases. The model predictions of RH-dependent SOA yield enhancements at 85 % RH vs. 35 % RH are 1.80 for a seed-free case, 1.52 for the case with ammonium bisulfate seed, and 1.06 for the case with sulfuric acid seed. Predicted SOA yields are enhanced in the presence of an aqueous inorganic seed, regardless of the seed type (ammonium sulfate, ammonium bisulfate, or sulfuric acid) in comparison with seed-free conditions at the same RH level. We discuss the comparison of model-predicted SOA yields with a selection of other laboratory studies on isoprene SOA formation conducted at different temperatures and for a variety of reacted isoprene concentrations. Those studies were conducted at RH levels at or below 40 % with reported SOA mass yields ranging from 0.3 % up to 9.0 %, indicating considerable variations. A robust feature of our associated gas–particle partitioning calculations covering the whole RH range is the predicted enhancement of SOA yield at high RH (> 80 %) compared to low RH (dry) conditions, which is explained by the effect of particle water uptake and its impact on the equilibrium partitioning of all components. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; « less
Award ID(s):
1801574 1801897
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
215 to 244
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. In isoprene‐rich regions, acid‐catalyzed multiphase reactions of isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX) with inorganic sulfate (Sulfinorg) particles form secondary organic aerosol (IEPOX‐SOA), extensively converting Sulfinorg to lowervolatility particulate organosulfates (OSs), including 2‐ methyltetrol sulfates (2‐MTSs) and their dimers. Recently, we showed that heterogeneous hydroxyl radical (OH) oxidation of particulate 2‐MTSs generated multifunctional OS products. However, atmospheric models assume that OS‐rich IEPOX‐SOA particles remain unreactive towards heterogeneous OH oxidation, and limited laboratory studies have been conducted to examine the heterogeneous OH oxidation kinetics of full IEPOX‐SOA mixtures. Hence, this study investigated the kinetics and products resulting from heterogeneous OH oxidation of freshly‐generated IEPOXSOA in order to help derive model‐ready parameterizations. First, gas‐phase IEPOX was reacted with acidic Sulfinorg particles under dark conditions in order to form fresh IEPOX‐SOA particles. These particles were then subsequently aged at RH of 56% in an oxidation flow reactor at OH exposures ranging from 0~15 days of equivalent atmospheric exposure. Aged IEPOX‐SOA particles were sampled by an online aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) and collected onto Teflon filters for off‐line molecular‐level chemical analyses by hydrophilic liquid interaction chromatography method interfaced to electrospray ionization high‐resolution quadrupole time‐offlight mass spectrometry (HILIC/ESI‐HR‐QTOFMS). Our results show that heterogeneous OH oxidation only causedmore »a 7% decay of IEPOX‐SOA by 10 days exposure, likely owing to the inhibition of reactive uptake of OH as fresh IEPOXSOA particles have an inorganic core‐organic shell morphology. A significantly higher fraction of IEPOX‐SOA (~37%) decayed by 15 days exposure, likely due to the increasing reactive uptake of OH as IEPOX‐SOA become more liquid‐like with aging. Freshly‐generated IEPOX‐SOA constituents exhibited varying degrees of aging with 2‐MTSdimers being the most reactive, followed by 2‐MTSs and 2‐ methyltetrols (2‐MTs), respectively. Notably, extensive amounts of previously characterized particle‐phase products in ambient fine aerosols were detected in our laboratory‐aged IEPOX‐SOA samples.« less
  2. Isoprene is one of the most common biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) in the atmosphere, produced by many plants. Isoprene undergoes oxidation to form gaseous isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX) under low-NOx conditions, which can lead to the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) particles. SOA-containing particles affect climate by scattering and absorbing solar radiation or acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). High concentrations of SOA are also associated with adverse health impacts in people. While in the atmosphere, IEPOX SOA particles continue to undergo reactions with atmospheric oxidants, including hydroxyl radical (OH). To isolate and probe this process, we studied atmospheric chemical processes in an aerosol chamber to better understand the evolution of heterogeneous OH oxidation of IEPOX-derived SOA particles. Since very little is understood about the structural and spectroscopic properties because of the complexity of their many sources and atmospheric processing, individual particle measurements are necessary to provide better understanding of the composition of IEPOX SOA. We injected particles composed of mixtures of ammonium sulfate and sulfuric acid across a range of acidities(PH = 0.5 – 2.5) and gas-phase IEPOX into the chamber to generate SOA. The SOA particles were then sent to an oxidation flow reactor, and exposed tomore »different OH concentrations representative of aging of a number of days. We kept relative humidity (RH) constant at ~65%, the temperature was ~23 °C, and levels of oxidation were controlled by adjusting lamp intensity. After oxidized SOA was impacted on quartz substrates, we used single-particle Raman microspectroscopy to identify their functional group compositions. From the Raman vibrational spectra of submicron particles (~500-1000 nm aerodynamic diameter), we observed a distinct difference in core-shell morphology and composition: an organic outer layer and an aqueous-inorganic core. The core also has significantly more CH-stretch than the shell. Small changes were also observed with increasing oxidation, which are important to consider when predicting SOA particle evolution in the atmosphere.« less
  3. The daytime oxidation of biogenic hydrocarbons is attributed to both OH radicals and O3, while nighttime chemistry is dominated by the reaction with O3 and NO3 radicals. Here, the diurnal pattern of Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOA) originating from biogenic hydrocarbons was intensively evaluated under varying environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, sunlight intensity, NOx levels, and seed conditions) by using the UNIfied Partitioning Aerosol phase Reaction (UNIPAR) model, which comprises multiphase gas-particle partitioning and in-particle chemistry. The oxidized products of three different hydrocarbons (isoprene, α-pinene, and β-caryophyllene) were predicted by using near explicit gas mechanisms for four different oxidation paths (OH, O3, NO3, and O(3P)) during day and night. The gas mechanisms implemented the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM v3.3.1), the reactions that formed low volatility products via peroxy radical (RO2) autoxidation, and self- and cross-reactions of nitrate-origin RO2. In the model, oxygenated products were then classified into volatility-reactivity base lumping species, which were dynamically constructed under varying NOx levels and aging scales. To increase feasibility, the UNIPAR model that equipped mathematical equations for stoichiometric coefficients and physicochemical parameters of lumping species was integrated with the SAPRC gas mechanism. The predictability of the UNIPAR model was demonstrated by simulating chamber-generated SOA data undermore »varying environments day and night. Overall, the SOA simulation decoupled to each oxidation path indicated that the nighttime isoprene SOA formation was dominated by the NO3-driven oxidation, regardless of NOx levels. However, the oxidation path to produce the nighttime α-pinene SOA gradually transited from the NO3-initiated reaction to ozonolysis as NOx levels decreased. For daytime SOA formation, both isoprene and α-pinene were dominated by the OH-radical initiated oxidation. The contribution of the O(3P) path to all biogenic SOA formation was negligible in daytime. Sunlight during daytime promotes the decomposition of oxidized products via photolysis and thus, reduces SOA yields. Nighttime α-pinene SOA yields were significantly higher than daytime SOA yields, although the nighttime α-pinene SOA yields gradually decreased with decreasing NOx levels. For isoprene, nighttime chemistry yielded higher SOA mass than daytime at the higher NOx level (isoprene/NOx > 5 ppbC/ppb). The daytime isoprene oxidation at the low NOx level formed epoxy-diols that significantly contributed SOA formation via heterogeneous chemistry. For isoprene and α-pinene, daytime SOA yields gradually increased with decreasing NOx levels. The daytime SOA produced more highly oxidized multifunctional products and thus, it was generally more sensitive to the aqueous reactions than the nighttime SOA. β-Caryophyllene, which rapidly oxidized and produced SOA with high yields, showed a relatively small variation in SOA yields from changes in environmental conditions (i.e., NOx levels, seed conditions, and diurnal pattern), and its SOA formation was mainly attributed to ozonolysis day and night. To mimic the nighttime α-pinene SOA formation under the polluted urban atmosphere, α-pinene SOA formation was simulated in the presence of gasoline fuel. The simulation suggested the growth of α-pinene SOA in the presence of gasoline fuel gas by the enhancement of the ozonolysis path under the excess amount of ozone, which is typical in urban air. We concluded that the oxidation of the biogenic hydrocarbon with O3 or NO3 radicals is a source to produce a sizable amount of nocturnal SOA, despite of the low emission at night.« less
  4. Particles containing secondary organic material (SOM) are ubiquitous in the atmosphere and play a role in climate and air quality. Recently, research has shown that liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) occurs at high relative humidity (RH) (greater than  ∼  95 %) in α-pinene-derived SOM particles free of inorganic salts, while LLPS does not occur in isoprene-derived SOM particles free of inorganic salts. We expand on these findings by investigating LLPS at 290 ± 1 K in SOM particles free of inorganic salts produced from ozonolysis of β-caryophyllene, ozonolysis of limonene, and photo-oxidation of toluene. LLPS was observed at greater than  ∼  95 % RH in the biogenic SOM particles derived from β-caryophyllene and limonene while LLPS was not observed in the anthropogenic SOM particles derived from toluene. This work combined with the earlier work on LLPS in SOM particles free of inorganic salts suggests that the occurrence of LLPS in SOM particles free of inorganic salts is related to the oxygen-to-carbon elemental ratio (O : C) of the organic material. These results help explain the difference between the hygroscopic parameter κ of SOM particles measured above and below water saturation in the laboratory and field, and have implications for predicting the cloud condensation nucleation properties of SOM particles.
  5. Abstract. Atmospheric aerosols are a significant public health hazard and havesubstantial impacts on the climate. Secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) havebeen shown to phase separate into a highly viscous organic outer layersurrounding an aqueous core. This phase separation can decrease thepartitioning of semi-volatile and low-volatile species to the organic phaseand alter the extent of acid-catalyzed reactions in the aqueous core. A newalgorithm that can determine SOA phase separation based on their glasstransition temperature (Tg), oxygen to carbon (O:C) ratio and organic massto sulfate ratio, and meteorological conditions was implemented into theCommunity Multiscale Air Quality Modeling (CMAQ) system version 5.2.1 andwas used to simulate the conditions in the continental United States for thesummer of 2013. SOA formed at the ground/surface level was predicted to bephase separated with core–shell morphology, i.e., aqueous inorganic coresurrounded by organic coating 65.4 % of the time during the 2013 SouthernOxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS) on average in the isoprene-rich southeasternUnited States. Our estimate is in proximity to the previously reported∼70 % in literature. The phase states of organic coatingsswitched between semi-solid and liquid states, depending on theenvironmental conditions. The semi-solid shell occurring with lower aerosolliquid water content (western United States and at higher altitudes) has aviscosity that was predicted tomore »be 102–1012 Pa s, whichresulted in organic mass being decreased due to diffusion limitation.Organic aerosol was primarily liquid where aerosol liquid water was dominant(eastern United States and at the surface), with a viscosity <102 Pa s.Phase separation while in a liquid phase state, i.e.,liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS), also reduces reactive uptake ratesrelative to homogeneous internally mixed liquid morphology but was lowerthan aerosols with a thick viscous organic shell. The sensitivity casesperformed with different phase-separation parameterization and dissolutionrate of isoprene epoxydiol (IEPOX) into the particle phase in CMAQ can havevarying impact on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) organic mass, interms of bias and error compared to field data collected during the 2013 SOAS.This highlights the need to better constrain the parameters thatgovern phase state and morphology of SOA, as well as expand mechanisticrepresentation of multiphase chemistry for non-IEPOX SOA formation in modelsaided by novel experimental insights.« less