Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-919
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-919

  25 Nov 2021

25 Nov 2021

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

The impact of molecular self-organisation on the atmospheric fate of a cooking aerosol proxy

Adam Milsom1, Adam M. Squires2, Andrew D. Ward3, and Christian Pfrang1,4 Adam Milsom et al.
  • 1University of Birmingham, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
  • 2University of Bath, Department of Chemistry, South Building, Soldier Down Ln, Claverton Down, Bath, UK
  • 3Central Laser Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot OX11 0FA, UK
  • 4Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Earley Gate, Reading, UK

Abstract. Atmospheric aerosols influence the climate via cloud droplet nucleation and can facilitate the long-range transport of harmful pollutants. The lifetime of such aerosols can therefore determine their environmental impact. Fatty acids are found in organic aerosol emissions with oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid, being a large contributor to cooking emissions. As a surfactant, oleic acid can self-organise into nanostructured lamellar bilayers with its sodium salt, and this self-organisation can influence reaction kinetics. We developed a kinetic multi-layer model-based description of decay data we obtained from laboratory experiments of the ozonolysis of coated films of this self-organised system, demonstrating a decreased diffusivity for both oleic acid and ozone due to lamellar bilayer formation. Diffusivity was further inhibited by a viscous oligomer product forming in the surface layers of the film. Our results indicate that nanostructure formation can increase the reactive half-life of oleic acid by an order of days at typical indoor and outdoor atmospheric ozone concentrations. We are now able to place nanostructure formation in an atmospherically meaningful and quantifiable context. These results have implications for the transport of harmful pollutants and the climate.

Adam Milsom et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Adam Milsom et al.

Adam Milsom et al.

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Short summary
Cooking emissions can self-organise into nanostructured lamellar bilayers, and this can influence reaction kinetics. We developed a kinetic multi-layer model-based description of decay data we obtained from laboratory experiments of the ozonolysis of coated films of such a self-organised system, demonstrating a decreased diffusivity for both oleic acid and ozone. Nanostructure formation can thus increase the reactive half-life of oleic acid by days at typical indoor and outdoor conditions.
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