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Published May 3, 2010 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Elemental analysis of chamber organic aerosol using an Aerodyne high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer


The elemental composition of laboratory chamber secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from glyoxal uptake, α-pinene ozonolysis, isoprene photooxidation, single-ring aromatic photooxidation, and naphthalene photooxidation is evaluated using Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer data. SOA O/C ratios range from 1.13 for glyoxal uptake experiments to 0.30–0.43 for α-pinene ozonolysis. The elemental composition of α-pinene and naphthalene SOA is also confirmed by offline mass spectrometry. The fraction of organic signal at m/z 44 is generally a good measure of SOA oxygenation for α-pinene/O₃, isoprene/high-NOₓ, and naphthalene SOA systems. The agreement between measured and estimated O/C ratios tends to get closer as the fraction of organic signal at m/z 44 increases. This is in contrast to the glyoxal uptake system, in which m/z 44 substantially underpredicts O/C. Although chamber SOA has generally been considered less oxygenated than ambient SOA, single-ring aromatic- and naphthalene-derived SOA can reach O/C ratios upward of 0.7, well within the range of ambient PMF component OOA, though still not as high as some ambient measurements. The spectra of aromatic and isoprene-high-NOₓ SOA resemble that of OOA, but the spectrum of glyoxal uptake does not resemble that of any ambient organic aerosol PMF component.

Additional Information

© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Received: 3 December 2009. Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 21 December 2009. Revised: 1 April 2010. Accepted: 26 April 2010 – Published: 3 May 2010. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy Biological and Environmental Research grant DEFG02- 05ER63983, US Environmental Protection Agency STAR grant RD-83374901, and US NSF grant ATM-0432377. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the authors and the EPA does not endorse any products in this publication. The authors would like to thank Arthur Chan, Jason Surratt and Nga Lee Ng for helpful discussions and Man Nin Chan for analysis of filter samples. Edited by: J.-L. Jimenez

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Published - Chhabra2010p10171Atmos_Chem_Phys.pdf

Supplemental Material - acp-10-4111-2010-supplement.pdf


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