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Persistence of organic carbon in heated aerosol residuals measured during...

Thornberry, T., K. Froyd, D. Murphy, D. S. Thomson, B. E. Anderson, K. L. Thornhill, and E. L. Winstead (2010), Persistence of organic carbon in heated aerosol residuals measured during Tropical Composition Cloud and Climate Coupling (TC4), J. Geophys. Res., 115, D00J02, doi:10.1029/2009JD012721.

The Particle Analysis by Laser Mass Spectrometry (PALMS) single particle mass spectrometer was used to analyze the composition of the nonvolatile fraction of atmospheric aerosol in a number of different environments. The mass spectra of individual particles sampled through an inlet section heated to 300°C were compared to unheated particles during flights of the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the Tropical Composition Cloud and Climate Coupling (TC4) mission. Comparisons are presented of measurements made in the marine boundary layer, the free troposphere, and the continental boundary layer over the Colombian jungle. The heated section completely removed sulfate from the aerosols except for sodium sulfate and related compounds in sea salt particles. Organic material in sea salt particles was observed to be less volatile than chlorine. Biomass burning particles were more likely to survive heating than other mixed sulfate-organic particles. For all particle types, there was a significant contribution to the residues from carbonaceous material other than elemental carbon. These results demonstrate the remaining compositional complexity of aerosol residuals that survive heating in a thermal denuder.

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