Articles | Volume 14, issue 11
Research article
04 Jun 2014
Research article |  | 04 Jun 2014

Global modeling of SOA: the use of different mechanisms for aqueous-phase formation

G. Lin, S. Sillman, J. E. Penner, and A. Ito

Abstract. There is growing interest in the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) through condensed aqueous-phase reactions. In this study, we use a global model (IMPACT) to investigate the potential formation of SOA in the aqueous phase. We compare results from several multiphase process schemes with detailed aqueous-phase reactions to schemes that use a first-order gas-to-particle formation rate based on uptake coefficients. The predicted net global SOA production rate in cloud water ranges from 13.1 Tg yr−1 to 46.8 Tg yr−1 while that in aerosol water ranges from −0.4 Tg yr−1 to 12.6 Tg yr−1. The predicted global burden of SOA formed in the aqueous phase ranges from 0.09 Tg to 0.51 Tg. A sensitivity test to investigate two representations of cloud water content from two global models shows that increasing cloud water by an average factor of 2.7 can increase the net SOA production rate in cloud water by a factor of 4 at low altitudes (below approximately 900 hPa). We also investigated the importance of including dissolved Fe chemistry in cloud water aqueous reactions. Adding these reactions increases the formation rate of aqueous-phase OH by a factor of 2.6 and decreases the amount of global aqueous SOA formed by 31%. None of the mechanisms discussed here is able to provide a best fit for all observations. Rather, the use of an uptake coefficient method for aerosol water and a multi-phase scheme for cloud water provides the best fit in the Northern Hemisphere and the use of multiphase process scheme for aerosol and cloud water provides the best fit in the tropics. The model with Fe chemistry underpredicts oxalate measurements in all regions. Finally, the comparison of oxygen-to-carbon (O / C) ratios estimated in the model with those estimated from measurements shows that the modeled SOA has a slightly higher O / C ratio than the observed SOA for all cases.

Final-revised paper