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Published November 10, 2020 | Published
Journal Article Open

Secondary organic aerosol yields from the oxidation of benzyl alcohol


Recent inventory-based analysis suggests that emissions of volatile chemical products in urban areas are competitive with those from the transportation sector. Understanding the potential for secondary organic aerosol formation from these volatile chemical products is therefore critical to predicting levels of aerosol and for formulating policy to reduce aerosol exposure. Experimental and computationally simulated environmental chamber data provide an understanding of aerosol yield and chemistry under relevant urban conditions (5–200 ppb NO and 291–312 K) and give insight into the effect of volatile chemical products on the production of secondary organic aerosol. Benzyl alcohol, one of these volatile chemical products, is found to have a large secondary organic aerosol formation potential. At NO concentrations of ∼ 80 ppb and 291 K, secondary organic aerosol mass yields for benzyl alcohol can reach 1.

Additional Information

© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Received: 19 May 2020 – Discussion started: 16 Jun 2020 – Revised: 20 Aug 2020 – Accepted: 29 Sep 2020 – Published: 10 Nov 2020. The authors would like to thank Yuanlong Huang for his help with the SMPS and CIMS and for his general helpfulness and insight; Benjamin Schulze for his assistance with the AMS; Christopher Kenseth for his assistance with the AMS and UPLC; Lu Xu for his guidance on the AMS analysis; Nathan Dalleska for his help troubleshooting chromatography methods and with UPLC analysis; John Crounse for his general help and for synthesis of CF3O− for the CIMS; Paul Wennberg for the use of his FT-IR and for his insight into the chemistry of the system; Chris Cappa for very helpful comments on an early draft of this paper; and David Cocker III, Weihan Peng, and Qi Li for the use of their SMPS for comparison purposes, suggestions for experimental conditions, and troubleshooting assistance. This research has been supported by the California Air Resources Board (contract no. 18RD009) and the National Science Foundation (grant no. 1745301). Data availability: Chamber data are available upon request and through the Index of Chamber Atmospheric Research in the United States (ICARUS). Author contributions: JHS supervised the work. RSB performed the filter collection and the UPLC-MS analysis, and conducted experiments U1 and U3–U5. SMC designed the experiments, carried out the modeling, and conducted the rest of the data collection and analysis. SMC wrote the manuscript with contributions from RSB. All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Review statement: This paper was edited by Alma Hodzic and reviewed by two anonymous referees.

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