17 Oct 2022
 | 17 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Chemical evolution of primary and secondary biomass burning aerosols during daytime and nighttime

Amir Yazdani, Satoshi Takahama, John K. Kodros, Marco Paglione, Mauro Masiol, Stefania Squizzato, Kalliopi Florou, Christos Kaltsonoudis, Spiro D. Jorga, Spyros N. Pandis, and Athanasios Nenes

Abstract. Primary emissions from wood and pellet stoves were aged in an atmospheric simulation chamber under daytime and nighttime conditions. The aerosol was analyzed with the online Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) and offline Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Measurements using the two techniques agreed reasonably well in terms of the organic aerosol (OA) mass concentration, OA:OC trends, and concentrations of biomass burning markers – lignin-like compounds and anhydrosugars. Based on the AMS, around 15 % of the primary organic aerosol (POA) mass underwent some form of transformation during daytime oxidation conditions after 6–10 hours of atmospheric exposure. A lesser extent of transformation was observed during the nighttime oxidation. The decay of certain semi-volatile (e.g., levoglucosan) and less volatile (e.g., lignin-like) POA components was substantial during aging, highlighting the role of heterogeneous reactions and gas-particle partitioning. Lignin-like compounds were observed to degrade under both daytime and nighttime conditions, whereas anhydrosugars degraded only under daytime conditions. Among the marker mass fragments of primary biomass burning OA (bbPOA), heavy ones (higher m/z) were relatively more stable during aging. The biomass burning secondary OA (bbSOA) became more oxidized with continued aging and resembled those of aged atmospheric organic aerosols. The bbSOA formed during daytime oxidation was dominated by acids. Organonitrates were an important product of nighttime reactions in both humid and dry conditions. Our results underline the importance of changes to both the primary and secondary biomass burning aerosols during their atmospheric aging. Heavier AMS fragments seldomly used in atmospheric chemistry can be used as more stable tracers of bbPOA and in combination with the established levoglucosan marker, can provide an indication of the extent of bbPOA aging.

Amir Yazdani et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-658', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Nov 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-658', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Dec 2022

Amir Yazdani et al.

Amir Yazdani et al.


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Short summary
Organic aerosols directly emitted from wood and pellet stove combustion are found to chemically transform (approximately 15–35 % by mass) under daytime aging conditions simulated in an environmental chamber. A new marker for lignin-like compounds is found to degrade at a different rate than previously identified biomass burning markers and can potentially provide indication of aging time in ambient samples.