Articles | Volume 13, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 9141–9158, 2013
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 9141–9158, 2013

Research article 16 Sep 2013

Research article | 16 Sep 2013

Secondary organic aerosol formation from gasoline vehicle emissions in a new mobile environmental reaction chamber

S. M. Platt1, I. El Haddad1, A. A. Zardini2, M. Clairotte2, C. Astorga2, R. Wolf1, J. G. Slowik1, B. Temime-Roussel3, N. Marchand3, I. Ježek4, L. Drinovec4, G. Močnik4, O. Möhler5, R. Richter1, P. Barmet1, F. Bianchi1, U. Baltensperger1, and A. S. H. Prévôt1 S. M. Platt et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen, 5232, Switzerland
  • 2Institute for Energy and Transport, Sustainable Transport Unit, European Commission Joint Research Centre 21027 Ispra, Italy
  • 3Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, LCE FRE 3416, 13331, Marseille, France
  • 4Aerosol d.o.o., 100 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 5Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. We present a new mobile environmental reaction chamber for the simulation of the atmospheric aging of different emission sources without limitation from the instruments or facilities available at any single site. Photochemistry is simulated using a set of 40 UV lights (total power 4 KW). Characterisation of the emission spectrum of these lights shows that atmospheric aging of emissions may be simulated over a range of temperatures (−7 to 25 °C). A photolysis rate of NO2, JNO2, of (8.0 ± 0.7) × 10−3 s−1 was determined at 25 °C. We demonstrate the utility of this new system by presenting results on the aging (OH = 12 × 106 cm−3 h) of emissions from a modern (Euro 5) gasoline car operated during a driving cycle (New European Driving Cycle, NEDC) on a chassis dynamometer in a vehicle test cell. Emissions from the entire NEDC were sampled and aged in the chamber. Total organic aerosol (OA; primary organic aerosol (POA) emission + secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation) was (369.8–397.5)10−3 g kg−1 fuel, or (13.2–15.4) × 10−3 g km−1, after aging, with aged OA/POA in the range 9–15. A thorough investigation of the composition of the gas phase emissions suggests that the observed SOA is from previously unconsidered precursors and processes. This large enhancement in particulate matter mass from gasoline vehicle aerosol emissions due to SOA formation, if it occurs across a wider range of gasoline vehicles, would have significant implications for our understanding of the contribution of on-road gasoline vehicles to ambient aerosols.

Final-revised paper