Observational insights into aerosol formation from isoprene

TitleObservational insights into aerosol formation from isoprene
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWorton DR, Surratt J.D, LaFranchi B.W, Chan A.WH, Zhao YL, Weber RJ, Park J.H, Gilman J.B, de Gouw J., Park C., Schade G., Beaver M., St Clair J.M, Crounse J., Wennberg P., Wolfe G.M, Harrold S., Thornton J.A, Farmer D.K, Docherty K.S, Cubison M.J, Jimenez JL, Frossard AA, Russell LM, Kristensen K., Glasius M., Mao J.Q, Ren X.R, Brune W., Browne E.C, Pusede S.E, Cohen R.C, Seinfeld JH, Goldsteint A.H
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Date Published2013/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0013-936X
Accession NumberWOS:000326123600007
Keywordsboundary-layer; mass-spectrometry; methyl vinyl ketone; nitrogen-oxides; organosulfate formation; peroxy nitrates pan; secondary organic aerosol; sierra-nevada mountains; tropospheric oh; vapor-pressures

Atmospheric photooxidation of isoprene is an important source of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and there is increasing evidence that anthropogenic oxidant emissions can enhance this SOA formation. In this work, we use ambient observations of organosulfates formed from isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX) and methacrylic acid epoxide (MAE) and a broad suite of chemical measurements to investigate the relative importance of nitrogen oxide (NO/NO2) and hydroperoxyl (HO2) SOA formation pathways from isoprene at a forested site in California. In contrast to IEPOX, the calculated production rate of MAE was observed to be independent of temperature. This is the result of the very fast thermolysis of MPAN at high temperatures that affects the distribution of the MPAN reservoir (MPAN / MPA radical) reducing the fraction that can react with OH to form MAE and subsequently SOA (F-MAE (formation)). The strong temperature dependence of F-MAE (formation) helps to explain our observations of similar concentrations of LEPDX-derived organosulfates (IEPOX-OS; similar to 1 ng m(-3)) and MAE-derived organosulfates (MAE-OS; similar to 1 ng m(-3)) under cooler conditions (lower isoprene concentrations) and much higher IEPOX-OS (similar to 20 ng m(-3)) relative to MAE-OS (<0.0005 ng m(-3)) at higher temperatures (higher isoprene concentrations). A kinetic model of IEPOX and MAE loss showed that MAE forms 10-100 times more ring-opening products than IEPOX and that both are strongly dependent on aerosol water content when aerosol pH is constant. However, the higher fraction of MAE ring opening products does not compensate for the lower MAE production under warmer conditions (higher isoprene concentrations) resulting in lower formation of MAE-derived products relative to IEPOX at the surface. In regions of high NOx high isoprene emissions and strong vertical mixing the slower MPAN thermolysis rate aloft could increase the fraction of MPAN that forms MAE resulting in a vertically varying isoprene SOA source.

Short TitleEnviron. Sci. Technol.
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