Modelling the formation and composition of secondary organic aerosol from α- and β-pinene ozonolysis using MCM v3
- Dept. of Environmental Science and Technology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY, UK
Abstract. The formation and detailed composition of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from the gas phase ozonolysis of α- and β-pinene has been simulated using the Master Chemical Mechanism version 3 (MCM v3), coupled with a representation of gas-to-aerosol transfer of semivolatile and involatile oxygenated products. A kinetics representation, based on equilibrium absorptive partitioning of ca. 200 semivolatile products, was found to provide an acceptable description of the final mass concentrations observed in a number of reported laboratory and chamber experiments, provided partitioning coefficients were increased by about two orders of magnitude over those defined on the basis of estimated vapour pressures. This adjustment is believed to be due, at least partially, to the effect of condensed phase association reactions of the partitioning products. Even with this adjustment, the simulated initial formation of SOA was delayed relative to that observed, implying the requirement for the formation of species of much lower volatility to initiate SOA formation. The inclusion of a simplified representation of the formation and gas-to-aerosol transfer of involatile dimers of 22 bi- and multifunctional carboxylic acids (in addition to the absorptive partitioning mechanism) allowed a much improved description of SOA formation for a wide range of conditions. The simulated SOA composition recreates certain features of the product distributions observed in a number of experimental studies, but implies an important role for multifunctional products containing hydroperoxy groups (i.e. hydroperoxides). This is particularly the case for experiments in which 2-butanol is used to scavenge OH radicals, because [HO2]/[RO2] ratios are elevated in such systems. The optimized mechanism is used to calculate SOA yields from α- and β-pinene ozonolysis in the presence and absence of OH scavengers, and as a function of temperature.