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  1. The Focused Isoprene eXperiment at the California Institute of Technology (FIXCIT) was a collaborative atmospheric chamber campaign that occurred during January 2014. FIXCIT is the laboratory component of a synergistic field and laboratory effort aimed toward (1) better understanding the chemical details behind ambient observations relevant to the southeastern United States, (2) advancing the knowledge of atmospheric oxidation mechanisms of important biogenic hydrocarbons, and (3) characterizing the behavior of field instrumentation using authentic standards. Approximately 20 principal scientists from 14 academic and government institutions performed parallel measurements at a forested site in Alabama and at the atmospheric chambers at Caltech. During the 4 week campaign period, a series of chamber experiments was conducted to investigate the dark- and photo-induced oxidation of isoprene, α-pinene, methacrolein, pinonaldehyde, acylperoxy nitrates, isoprene hydroxy nitrates (ISOPN), isoprene hydroxy hydroperoxides (ISOPOOH), and isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX) in a highly controlled and atmospherically relevant manner. Pinonaldehyde and isomer-specific standards of ISOPN, ISOPOOH, and IEPOX were synthesized and contributed by campaign participants, which enabled explicit exploration into the oxidation mechanisms and instrument responses for these important atmospheric compounds. The present overview describes the goals, experimental design, instrumental techniques, and preliminary observations from the campaign. This work provides context formore »forthcoming publications affiliated with the FIXCIT campaign. Insights from FIXCIT are anticipated to aid significantly in interpretation of field data and the revision of mechanisms currently implemented in regional and global atmospheric models.

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  2. The reactive partitioning of cis and trans β-IEPOX was investigated on hydrated inorganic seed particles, without the addition of acids. No organic aerosol (OA) formation was observed on dry ammonium sulfate (AS); however, prompt and efficient OA growth was observed for the cis and trans β-IEPOX on AS seeds at liquid water contents of 40–75% of the total particle mass. OA formation from IEPOX is a kinetically limited process, thus the OA growth continues if there is a reservoir of gas-phase IEPOX. There appears to be no differences, within error, in the OA growth or composition attributable to the cis / trans isomeric structures. Reactive uptake of IEPOX onto hydrated AS seeds with added base (NaOH) also produced high OA loadings, suggesting the pH dependence for OA formation from IEPOX is weak for AS particles. No OA formation, after particle drying, was observed on seed particles where Na+ was substituted for NH4+. The Henry's Law partitioning of IEPOX was measured on NaCl particles (ionic strength ~9 M) to be 3 × 107 M atm−1 (−50 / +100%). A small quantity of OA was produced when NH4+ was present in the particles, but the chloride (Cl-) anion was substituted for sulfatemore »(SO42-), possibly suggesting differences in nucleophilic strength of the anions. Online time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometry and offline filter analysis provide evidence of oxygenated hydrocarbons, organosulfates, and amines in the particle organic composition. The results are consistent with weak correlations between IEPOX-derived OA and particle acidity or liquid water observed in field studies, as the chemical system is nucleophile-limited and not limited in water or catalyst activity.

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