Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-547
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-547

  01 Jul 2021

01 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Modeling secondary organic aerosol formation from volatile chemical products

Elyse A. Pennington1,2, Karl M. Seltzer1, Benjamin N. Murphy3, Momei Qin1,4, John H. Seinfeld2, and Havala O. T. Pye3 Elyse A. Pennington et al.
  • 1Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow in the Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
  • 2Department of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125
  • 3Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
  • 4Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China

Abstract. Volatile chemical products (VCPs) are commonly-used consumer and industrial items that are an important source of anthropogenic emissions. Organic compounds from VCPs evaporate on atmospherically relevant time scales and include many species that are secondary organic aerosol (SOA) precursors. However, the chemistry leading to SOA, particularly that of intermediate volatility organic compounds (IVOCs), has not been fully represented in regional-scale models such as the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model, which tend to underpredict SOA concentrations in urban areas. Here we develop a model to represent SOA formation from VCP emissions. The model incorporates a new VCP emissions inventory and employs three new classes of emissions: siloxanes, oxygenated IVOCs, and nonoxygenated IVOCs. VCPs are estimated to produce 1.67 μg m−3 of noontime SOA, doubling the current model predictions and reducing the SOA mass concentration bias from −75 % to −58 % when compared to observations in Los Angeles in 2010. While oxygenated and nonoxygenated intermediate volatility VCP species are emitted in similar quantities, SOA formation is dominated by the nonoxygenated IVOCs. Formaldehyde and SOA show similar relationships to temperature and bias signatures indicating common sources and/or chemistry. This work suggests that VCPs contribute up to half of anthropogenic SOA in Los Angeles and models must better represent SOA precursors from VCPs to predict the urban enhancement of SOA.

Elyse A. Pennington et al.

Status: open (until 12 Aug 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-547', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Jul 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-547', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Jul 2021 reply

Elyse A. Pennington et al.

Elyse A. Pennington et al.

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Short summary
Volatile chemical products (VCPs) are commonly-used consumer and industrial items that contribute to the formation of atmospheric aerosol. We implemented the emissions and chemistry of VCPs in a regional-scale model and compared predictions with measurements made in Los Angeles. Our results reduced model bias and suggest that VCPs may contribute up to half of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosol in Los Angeles and are an important source of human-influenced PM in urban areas.
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