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  1. Abstract. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are carcinogenic air pollutants. The dispersion of PAHs in the atmosphere is influenced by gas–particle partitioning and chemical loss. These processes are closely interlinked and may occur at vastly differing timescales, which complicates their mathematical description in chemical transport models. Here, we use a kinetic model that explicitly resolves mass transport and chemical reactions in the gas and particle phases to describe and explore the dynamic and non-equilibrium interplay of gas–particle partitioning and chemical losses of PAHs on soot particles. We define the equilibration timescale τeq of gas–particle partitioning as the e-folding time for relaxation of the system to the partitioning equilibrium. We find this metric to span from seconds to hours depending on temperature, particle surface area, and the type of PAH. The equilibration time can be approximated using a time-independent equation, τeq≈1kdes+kads, which depends on the desorption rate coefficient kdes and adsorption rate coefficient kads, both of which can be calculated from experimentally accessible parameters. The model reveals two regimes in which different physical processes control the equilibration timescale: a desorption-controlled and an adsorption-controlled regime. In a case study with the PAH pyrene, we illustrate how chemical loss can perturb the equilibrium particulatemore »fraction at typical atmospheric concentrations of O3 and OH. For the surface reaction with O3, the perturbation is significant and increases with the gas-phase concentration of O3. Conversely, perturbations are smaller for reaction with the OH radical, which reacts with pyrene on both the surface of particles and in the gas phase. Global and regional chemical transport models typically approximate gas–particle partitioning with instantaneous-equilibration approaches. We highlight scenarios in which these approximations deviate from the explicitly coupled treatment of gas–particle partitioning and chemistry presented in this study. We find that the discrepancy between solutions depends on the operator-splitting time step and the choice of time step can help to minimize the discrepancy. The findings and techniques presented in this work not only are relevant for PAHs but can also be applied to other semi-volatile substances that undergo chemical reactions and mass transport between the gas and particle phase.« less
  2. Abstract. In the aqueous phase, fine particulate matter can form reactive species (RS)that influence the aging, properties, and health effects of atmosphericaerosols. In this study, we explore the RS yields of aerosol samples froma remote forest (Hyytiälä, Finland) and polluted urban locations(Mainz, Germany; Beijing, China), and we relate the RS yields to differentchemical constituents and reaction mechanisms. Ultra-high-resolution massspectrometry was used to characterize organic aerosol composition, electronparamagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy with a spin-trapping technique wasapplied to determine the concentrations of ⚫OH,O2⚫-, and carbon- or oxygen-centered organic radicals, anda fluorometric assay was used to quantify H2O2. The aqueousH2O2-forming potential per mass unit of ambient PM2.5(particle diameter < 2.5 µm) was roughly the same for allinvestigated samples, whereas the mass-specific yields of radicals werelower for sampling sites with higher concentrations of PM2.5. Theabundances of water-soluble transition metals and aromatics in ambientPM2.5 were positively correlated with the relative fraction of⚫OH and negatively correlated with the relative fraction ofcarbon-centered radicals. In contrast, highly oxygenated organic molecules(HOM) were positively correlated with the relative fraction ofcarbon-centered radicals and negatively correlated with the relativefraction of ⚫OH. Moreover, we found that the relative fractionsof different types of radicals formed by ambient PM2.5 were comparableto surrogate mixtures comprising transition metal ions,more »organichydroperoxide, H2O2, and humic or fulvic acids. The interplay oftransition metal ions (e.g., iron and copper ions), highly oxidized organicmolecules (e.g., hydroperoxides), and complexing or scavenging agents (e.g.,humic or fulvic acids) leads to nonlinear concentration dependencies inaqueous-phase RS production. A strong dependence on chemical compositionwas also observed for the aqueous-phase radical yields oflaboratory-generated secondary organic aerosols (SOA) from precursormixtures of naphthalene and β-pinene. Our findings show how thecomposition of PM2.5 can influence the amount and nature ofaqueous-phase RS, which may explain differences in the chemical reactivityand health effects of particulate matter in clean and polluted air.« less