Volatility of organic aerosol and its components in the megacity of Paris
Abstract. Using a mass transfer model and the volatility basis set, we estimate the volatility distribution for the organic aerosol (OA) components during summer and winter in Paris, France as part of the collaborative project MEGAPOLI. The concentrations of the OA components as a function of temperature were measured combining data from a thermodenuder and an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) with Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) analysis. The hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA) had similar volatility distributions for the summer and winter campaigns with half of the material in the saturation concentration bin of 10 µg m−3 and another 35–40 % consisting of low and extremely low volatility organic compounds (LVOCs with effective saturation concentrations C* of 10−3–0.1 µg m−3 and ELVOCs C* less or equal than 10−4 µg m−3, respectively). The winter cooking OA (COA) was more than an order of magnitude less volatile than the summer COA. The low-volatility oxygenated OA (LV-OOA) factor detected in the summer had the lowest volatility of all the derived factors and consisted almost exclusively of ELVOCs. The volatility for the semi-volatile oxygenated OA (SV-OOA) was significantly higher than that of the LV-OOA, containing both semi-volatile organic components (SVOCs with C* in the 1–100 µg m−3 range) and LVOCs. The oxygenated OA (OOA) factor in winter consisted of SVOCs (45 %), LVOCs (25 %) and ELVOCs (30 %). The volatility of marine OA (MOA) was higher than that of the other factors containing around 60 % SVOCs. The biomass burning OA (BBOA) factor contained components with a wide range of volatilities with significant contributions from both SVOCs (50 %) and LVOCs (30 %). Finally, combining the bulk average O : C ratios and volatility distributions of the various factors, our results are placed into the two-dimensional volatility basis set (2D-VBS) framework. The OA factors cover a broad spectrum of volatilities with no direct link between the average volatility and average O : C of the OA components.