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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 21, 2023
  2. Abstract. OH reactivity (OHR) is an important control on the oxidative capacity in the atmosphere but remains poorly constrained in many environments, such asremote, rural, and urban atmospheres, as well as laboratory experiment setups under low-NO conditions. For an improved understanding of OHR, itsevolution during oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a major aspect requiring better quantification. We use the fully explicitGenerator of Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A) model to study the OHR evolution in the NO-free photooxidationof several VOCs, including decane (an alkane), m-xylene (an aromatic), and isoprene (an alkene). Oxidation progressively produces more saturated and functionalized species. Total organic OHR (including precursor and products, OHRVOC) first increases for decane (as functionalization increases OH rate coefficients) and m-xylene (as much more reactive oxygenated alkenes are formed). For isoprene, C=C bond consumption leads to a rapid drop in OHRVOC before significant production of the first main saturated multifunctional product, i.e., isoprene epoxydiol. The saturated multifunctional species in the oxidation of different precursors have similar average OHRVOC per C atom. The latter oxidation follows a similar course for different precursors, involving fragmentation of multifunctional species to eventual oxidation of C1 and C2 fragments to CO2, leading tomore »a similar evolution of OHRVOC per C atom. An upper limit of the total OH consumption during complete oxidation to CO2 is roughly three per C atom. We also explore the trends in radical recycling ratios. We show that differences in the evolution of OHRVOC between the atmosphere and an environmental chamber, and between the atmosphere and an oxidation flow reactor (OFR), can be substantial, with the former being even larger, but these differences are often smaller than between precursors. The Teflon wall losses of oxygenated VOCs in chambers result in large deviations of OHRVOC from atmospheric conditions, especially for the oxidation of larger precursors, where multifunctional species may suffer substantial wall losses, resulting in significant underestimation of OHRVOC. For OFR, the deviations of OHRVOC evolution from the atmospheric case are mainly due to significant OHR contribution from RO2 and lack of efficient organic photolysis. The former can be avoided by lowering the UV lamp setting in OFR, while the latter is shown to be very difficult to avoid. However, the former may significantly offset the slowdown in fragmentation of multifunctional species due to lack of efficient organic photolysis.« less
  3. Abstract. Oxidation flow reactors (OFRs) are a promising complement toenvironmental chambers for investigating atmospheric oxidation processes andsecondary aerosol formation. However, questions have been raised about howrepresentative the chemistry within OFRs is of that in the troposphere. Weinvestigate the fates of organic peroxy radicals (RO2), which playa central role in atmospheric organic chemistry, in OFRs and environmentalchambers by chemical kinetic modeling and compare to a variety of ambientconditions to help define a range of atmospherically relevant OFR operatingconditions. For most types of RO2, their bimolecular fates in OFRsare mainly RO2+HO2 and RO2+NO, similar to chambers andatmospheric studies. For substituted primary RO2 and acylRO2, RO2+RO2 can make a significant contribution tothe fate of RO2 in OFRs, chambers and the atmosphere, butRO2+RO2 in OFRs is in general somewhat less important than inthe atmosphere. At high NO, RO2+NO dominates RO2 fate inOFRs, as in the atmosphere. At a high UV lamp setting in OFRs,RO2+OH can be a major RO2 fate and RO2isomerization can be negligible for common multifunctional RO2,both of which deviate from common atmospheric conditions. In the OFR254operation mode (for which OH is generated only from the photolysismore »of addedO3), we cannot identify any conditions that can simultaneouslyavoid significant organic photolysis at 254 nm and lead to RO2lifetimes long enough (∼ 10 s) to allow atmospherically relevantRO2 isomerization. In the OFR185 mode (for which OH is generatedfrom reactions initiated by 185 nm photons), high relative humidity, low UVintensity and low precursor concentrations are recommended for theatmospherically relevant gas-phase chemistry of both stable species andRO2. These conditions ensure minor or negligible RO2+OHand a relative importance of RO2 isomerization in RO2fate in OFRs within ×2 of that in the atmosphere. Under theseconditions, the photochemical age within OFR185 systems can reach a fewequivalent days at most, encompassing the typical ages for maximum secondaryorganic aerosol (SOA) production. A small increase in OFR temperature mayallow the relative importance of RO2 isomerization to approach theambient values. To study the heterogeneous oxidation of SOA formed underatmospherically relevant OFR conditions, a different UV source with higherintensity is needed after the SOA formation stage, which can be done withanother reactor in series. Finally, we recommend evaluating the atmosphericrelevance of RO2 chemistry by always reporting measured and/orestimated OH, HO2, NO, NO2 and OH reactivity (or at leastprecursor composition and concentration) in all chamber and flow reactorexperiments. An easy-to-use RO2 fate estimator program is includedwith this paper to facilitate the investigation of this topic in futurestudies.

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  4. Abstract. The GoAmazon 2014/5 field campaign took place in Manaus, Brazil, and allowed the investigation of the interaction between background-level biogenic air masses and anthropogenic plumes.We present in this work a box model built to simulate the impact of urban chemistry on biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation and composition.An organic chemistry mechanism is generated with the Generator for Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A) to simulate the explicit oxidation of biogenic and anthropogenic compounds.A parameterization is also included to account for the reactive uptake of isoprene oxidation products on aqueous particles.The biogenic emissions estimated from existing emission inventories had to be reduced to match measurements.The model is able to reproduce ozone and NOx for clean and polluted situations.The explicit model is able to reproduce background case SOA mass concentrations but does not capture the enhancement observed in the urban plume.The oxidation of biogenic compounds is the major contributor to SOA mass.A volatility basis set (VBS) parameterization applied to the same cases obtains better results than GECKO-A for predicting SOA mass in the box model.The explicit mechanism may be missing SOA-formation processes related to the oxidation of monoterpenes that could be implicitly accounted for in themore »VBS parameterization.« less
  5. ABSTRACT To explore the various couplings across space and time and between ecosystems in a consistent manner, atmospheric modeling is moving away from the fractured limited-scale modeling strategy of the past toward a unification of the range of scales inherent in the Earth system. This paper describes the forward-looking Multi-Scale Infrastructure for Chemistry and Aerosols (MUSICA), which is intended to become the next-generation community infrastructure for research involving atmospheric chemistry and aerosols. MUSICA will be developed collaboratively by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and university and government researchers, with the goal of serving the international research and applications communities. The capability of unifying various spatiotemporal scales, coupling to other Earth system components, and process-level modularization will allow advances in both fundamental and applied research in atmospheric composition, air quality, and climate and is also envisioned to become a platform that addresses the needs of policy makers and stakeholders.