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The role of hydroxyl radicals (OH) as a daytime oxidant is well established on a global scale. In specific source regions, such as the marine boundary layer and polluted coastal cities, other daytime oxidants, such as chlorine atoms (Cl) and even bromine atoms (Br), may compete with OH for the oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and/or enhance the overall oxidation capacity of the atmosphere. However, the number of studies investigating halogen-initiated secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation is extremely limited, resulting in large uncertainties in these oxidative aging processes. Here, we characterized the chemical composition and yield of laboratory SOA generated in an oxidation flow reactor (OFR) from the OH and Cl oxidation of n -dodecane ( n -C 12 ) and toluene, and the OH, Cl, and Br oxidation of isoprene and α-pinene. In the OFR, precursors were oxidized using integrated OH, Cl, and Br exposures ranging from 3.1 × 10 10 to 2.3 × 10 12 , 6.1 × 10 9 to 1.3× 10 12 and 3.2 × 10 10 to 9.7 × 10 12 molecules cm −3 s −1 , respectively. Like OH, Cl facilitated multistep SOA oxidative aging over the range of OFR conditions that were studied. In contrast, the extent of Br-initiated SOA oxidative aging was limited. SOA elemental ratios and mass yields obtained in the OFR studies were comparable to those obtained from OH and Cl oxidation of the same precursors in environmental chamber studies. Overall, our results suggest that alkane, aromatic, and terpenoid SOA precursors are characterized by distinct OH- and halogen-initiated SOA yields, and that while Cl may enhance the SOA formation potential in regions influenced by biogenic and anthropogenic emissions, Br may have the opposite effect.more » « less
Recent studies have found concentrations of reactive chlorine species to be higher than expected, suggesting that atmospheric chlorine chemistry is more extensive than previously thought. Chlorine radicals can interact with hydroperoxy (HOx) radicals and nitrogen oxides (NOx) to alter the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere. They are known to rapidly oxidize a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the atmosphere, yet little is known about secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from chlorine-initiated photooxidation and its atmospheric implications. Environmental chamber experiments were carried out under low-NOx conditions with isoprene and chlorine as primary VOC and oxidant sources. Upon complete isoprene consumption, observed SOA yields ranged from 7 to 36 %, decreasing with extended photooxidation and SOA aging. Formation of particulate organochloride was observed. A high-resolution time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometer was used to determine the molecular composition of gas-phase species using iodide–water and hydronium–water cluster ionization. Multi-generational chemistry was observed, including ions consistent with hydroperoxides, chloroalkyl hydroperoxides, isoprene-derived epoxydiol (IEPOX), and hypochlorous acid (HOCl), evident of secondary OH production and resulting chemistry from Cl-initiated reactions. This is the first reported study of SOA formation from chlorine-initiated oxidation of isoprene. Results suggest that tropospheric chlorine chemistry could contribute significantly to organic aerosol loading.more » « less