Time filter

Source Type

Valencia, Spain

Pereira K.L.,University of York | Hamilton J.F.,University of York | Rickard A.R.,University of York | Bloss W.J.,University of Birmingham | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2015

Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is well-known to have adverse effects on air quality and human health. However, the dynamic mechanisms occurring during SOA formation and evolution are poorly understood. The time-resolved SOA composition formed during the photo-oxidation of three aromatic compounds, methyl chavicol, toluene and 4-methyl catechol, were investigated at the European Photoreactor. SOA was collected using a particle into liquid sampler and analyzed offline using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry to produce temporal profiles of individual photo-oxidation products. In the photo-oxidation of methyl chavicol, 70 individual compounds were characterized and three distinctive temporal profile shapes were observed. The calculated mass fraction (Ci,aer/COA) of the individual SOA compounds showed either a linear trend (increasing/decreasing) or exponential decay with time. Substituted nitrophenols showed an exponential decay, with the nitro-group on the aromatic ring found to control the formation and loss of these species in the aerosol phase. Nitrophenols from both methyl chavicol and toluene photo-oxidation experiments showed a strong relationship with the NO2/NO (ppbv/ppbv) ratio and were observed during initial SOA growth. The location of the nitrophenol aromatic substitutions was found to be critically important, with the nitrophenol in the photo-oxidation of 4-methyl catechol not partitioning into the aerosol phase until irradiation had stopped; highlighting the importance of studying SOA formation and evolution at a molecular level. © 2015 American Chemical Society. Source

Pereira K.L.,University of York | Hamilton J.F.,University of York | Rickard A.R.,University of York | Bloss W.J.,University of Birmingham | And 6 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2014

The increasing demand for palm oil for uses in biofuel and food products is leading to rapid expansion of oil palm agriculture. Methyl chavicol (also known as estragole and 1-allyl-4-methoxybenzene) is an oxygenated biogenic volatile organic compound (VOC) that was recently identified as the main floral emission from an oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. The emissions of methyl chavicol observed may impact regional atmospheric chemistry, but little is known of its ability to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA). The photo-oxidation of methyl chavicol was investigated at the European Photoreactor chamber as a part of the atmospheric chemistry of methyl chavicol (ATMECH) project. Aerosol samples were collected using a particle into liquid sampler (PILS) and analysed offline using an extensive range of instruments including; high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HPLC-ITMS), high-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-QTOFMS) and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS). The SOA yield was determined as 18 and 29% for an initial VOC mixing ratio of 212 and 460 ppbv (parts per billion by volume) respectively; using a VOC:NOx ratio of ∼5:1. In total, 59 SOA compounds were observed and the structures of 10 compounds have been identified using high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry. The addition of hydroxyl and/or nitro-functional groups to the aromatic ring appears to be an important mechanistic pathway for aerosol formation. This results in the formation of compounds with both low volatility and high O:C ratios, where functionalisation rather than fragmentation is mainly observed as a result of the stability of the ring. The SOA species observed can be characterised as semi-volatile to low-volatility oxygenated organic aerosol (SVOOA and LVOOA) components and therefore may be important in aerosol formation and growth. © 2014 Author(s). Source

Discover hidden collaborations