Primary and secondary organic aerosol origin by combined gas-particle phase source apportionment
Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA), a prominent fraction of particulate organic mass (OA), remains poorly constrained. Its formation involves several unknown precursors, formation and evolution pathways and multiple natural and anthropogenic sources. Here a combined gas-particle phase source apportionment is applied to wintertime and summertime data collected in the megacity of Paris in order to investigate SOA origin during both seasons. This was possible by combining the information provided by an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS). A better constrained apportionment of primary OA (POA) sources is also achieved using this methodology, making use of gas-phase tracers. These tracers made possible the discrimination between biogenic and continental/anthropogenic sources of SOA. We found that continental SOA was dominant during both seasons (24–50% of total OA), while contributions from photochemistry-driven SOA (9% of total OA) and marine emissions (13% of total OA) were also observed during summertime. A semi-volatile nighttime component was also identified (up to 18% of total OA during wintertime). This approach was successfully applied here and implemented in a new source apportionment toolkit.