Aarhus University Seal

New Particle Formation and Growth from Dimethyl Sulfide Oxidation by Hydroxyl Radicals

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review



Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is produced by plankton in oceans and constitutes the largest natural emission of sulfur to the atmosphere. In this work, we examine new particle formation from the primary pathway of oxidation of gas-phase DMS by OH radicals. We particularly focus on particle growth and mass yield as studied experimentally under dry conditions using the atmospheric simulation chamber AURA. Experimentally, we show that aerosol mass yields from oxidation of 50-200 ppb of DMS are low (2-7%) and that particle growth rates (8.2-24.4 nm/h) are comparable with ambient observations. An HR-ToF-AMS was calibrated using methanesulfonic acid (MSA) to account for fragments distributed across both the organic and sulfate fragmentation table. AMS-derived chemical compositions revealed that MSA was always more dominant than sulfate in the secondary aerosols formed. Modeling using the Aerosol Dynamics, gas- and particle-phase chemistry kinetic multilayer model for laboratory CHAMber studies (ADCHAM) indicates that the Master Chemical Mechanism gas-phase chemistry alone underestimates experimentally observed particle formation and that DMS multiphase and autoxidation chemistry is needed to explain observations. Based on quantum chemical calculations, we conclude that particle formation from DMS oxidation in the ambient atmosphere will most likely be driven by mixed sulfuric acid/MSA clusters clustering with both amines and ammonia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Earth and Space Chemistry
Pages (from-to)801-811
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF: J 3970-N36), Aarhus University, the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program, Project SURFACE (Grant Agreement No. 717022), the Swedish Research Council Formas (Project no. 2018-01745-COBACCA), Swedish Research Council VR (project no. 2019-05006), the Faroese Research Foundation (Grant 0454), and the Independent Research Fund Denmark (Grant number 9064-00001B).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • atmospheric simulation chamber, dimethyl sulfide, growth rate, methanesulfonic acid, nucleation, photo-oxidation

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 217566148