Effects of NOx and SO2 on the secondary organic aerosol formation from photooxidation of alpha-pinene and limonene
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CitationZhao, Defeng. Schmitt, Sebastian H. Wang, Mingjin. Acir, Ismail-Hakki. Tillmann, Ralf. Tan, Zhaofeng. Novelli, Anna. Fuchs, Hendrik. Pullinen, Iida. Wegener, Robert. Rohrer, Franz. Wildt, Jürgen. Kiendler-Scharr, Astrid. Wahner, Andreas. Mentel, Thomas F. (2018). Effects of NOx and SO2 on the secondary organic aerosol formation from photooxidation of alpha-pinene and limonene. ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS, 18 (3) , 1611-1628. 10.5194/acp-18-1611-2018.
Anthropogenic emissions such as NOx and SO2 influence the biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation, but detailed mechanisms and effects are still elusive. We studied the effects of NOx and SO2 on the SOA formation from the photooxidation of α-pinene and limonene at ambient relevant NOx and SO2 concentrations (NOx: < 1to 20 ppb, SO2: < 0.05 to 15 ppb). In these experiments, monoterpene oxidation was dominated by OH oxidation. We found that SO2 induced nucleation and enhanced SOA mass formation. NOx strongly suppressed not only new particle formation but also SOA mass yield. However, in the presence of SO2 which induced a high number concentration of particles after oxidation to H2SO4, the suppression of the mass yield of SOA by NOx was completely or partly compensated for. This indicates that the suppression of SOA yield by NOx was largely due to the suppressed new particle formation, leading to a lack of particle surface for the organics to condense on and thus a significant influence of vapor wall loss on SOA mass yield. By compensating for the suppressing effect on nucleation of NOx, SO2 also compensated for the suppressing effect on SOA yield. Aerosol mass spectrometer data show that increasing NOx enhanced nitrate formation. The majority of the nitrate was organic nitrate (57–77 %), even in low-NOx conditions (< ∼ 1 ppb). Organic nitrate contributed 7–26 % of total organics assuming a molecular weight of 200 g mol−1. SOA from α-pinene photooxidation at high NOx had a generally lower hydrogen to carbon ratio (H ∕ C), compared to low NOx. The NOx dependence of the chemical composition can be attributed to the NOx dependence of the branching ratio of the RO2 loss reactions, leading to a lower fraction of organic hydroperoxides and higher fractions of organic nitrates at high NOx. While NOx suppressed new particle formation and SOA mass formation, SO2 can compensate for such effects, and the combining effect of SO2 and NOx may have an important influence on SOA formation affected by interactions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with anthropogenic emissions.