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Temperature and volatile organic compound concentrations as controlling factors for chemical composition of α-pinene-derived secondary organic aerosol

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This work investigates the individual and combined effects of temperature and volatile organic compound precursor concentrations on the chemical composition of particles formed in the dark ozonolysis of-pinene. All experiments were conducted in a 5m3 Teflon chamber at an initial ozone concentration of 100 ppb and initial-pinene concentrations of 10 and 50 ppb, respectively; at constant temperatures of 20, 0, or-15 C; and at changing temperatures (ramps) from-15 to 20 and from 20 to-15 C. The chemical composition of the particles was probed using a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS). A four-factor solution of a positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis of the combined HR-ToF-AMS data is presented. The PMF analysis and the elemental composition analysis of individual experiments show that secondary organic aerosol particles with the highest oxidation level are formed from the lowest initial-pinene concentration (10 ppb) and at the highest temperature (20 C). A higher initial-pinene concentration (50 ppb) and/or lower temperature (0 or-15 C) results in a lower oxidation level of the molecules contained in the particles. With respect to the carbon oxidation state, particles formed at 0 C are more comparable to particles formed at-15 C than to those formed at 20 C. A remarkable observation is that changes in temperature during particle formation result in only minor changes in the elemental composition of the particles. Thus, the temperature at which aerosol particle formation is induced seems to be a critical parameter for the particle elemental composition. Comparison of the HR-ToF-AMS-derived estimates of the content of organic acids in the particles based on m=z 44 in the mass spectra show good agreement with results from off-line molecular analysis of particle filter samples collected from the same experiments. Higher temperatures are associated with a decrease in the absolute mass concentrations of organic acids (R-COOH) and organic acid functionalities (-COOH), while the organic acid functionalities account for an increasing fraction of the measured particle mass.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Pages (from-to)11545-11562
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2021

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