Chemically-Resolved Volatility Measurements of Organic Aerosol from Different...

Huffman, J. A., K. S. Docherty, C. Mohr, M. J. Cubison, I. Ulbrich, P. J. Ziemann, T. B. Onasch, and J. Jimenez-Palacios (2009), Chemically-Resolved Volatility Measurements of Organic Aerosol from Different Sources, Environ. Sci. Technol., 43, 5351-5357, doi:10.1021/es803539d.

A newly modified fast temperature-stepping thermodenuder (TD) was coupled to a High Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer for rapid determination of chemically resolved volatility of organic aerosols (OA) emitted from individual sources. The TD-AMS system was used to characterize primary OA (POA) from biomass burning, trash burning surrogates (paper and plastic), and meat cooking as well as chamber- generated secondary OA (SOA) from R-pinene and gasoline vapor. Almost all atmospheric models represent POA as nonvolatile, with no allowance for evaporation upon heating or dilution, or condensation upon cooling. Our results indicate that all OAs observed show semivolatile behavior and that most POAs characterized here were at least as volatile as SOA measured in urban environments. Biomass-burning OA (BBOA) exhibited a wide range of volatilities, but more often showed volatility similar to urban OA. Paper-burning resembles some types of BBOA because of its relatively high volatility and intermediate atomic oxygen-to-carbon (O/ C) ratio, while meat-cooking OAs (MCOA) have consistently lower volatility than ambient OA. Chamber-generated SOA under the relatively high concentrations used in traditional experiments was significantly more volatile than urban SOA, challenging extrapolation of traditional laboratory volatility measurements to the atmosphere. Most OAs sampled show increasing O/C ratio and decreasing H/C (hydrogen-to-carbon) ratio with temperature, further indicating that more oxygenated OA components are typically less volatile. Future experiments should systematically explore a wider range of mass concentrations to more fully characterize the volatility distributions of these OAs.

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Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)