Direct evidence of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol formation in forest atmosphere through heteromolecular nucleation

Academic Article


  • Atmospheric aerosols play a central role in climate and atmospheric chemistry. Organic matter frequently composes aerosol major fraction over continental areas. Reactions of natural volatile organic compounds, with atmospheric oxidants, are a key formation pathway of fine particles. The gas and particle atmospheric concentration of organic compounds directly emitted from conifer leaf epicuticular wax and of those formed through the photooxidation of α- and β-pinene were simultaneously collected and measured in a conifer forest by using elaborated sampling and GC/MS techniques. The saturation concentrations of acidic and carbonyl photooxidation products were estimated, by taking into consideration primary gas- and particle-phase organic species. Primary organic aerosol components represented an important fraction of the atmospheric gasphase organic content. Consequently, saturation concentrations of photooxidation products have been lowered facilitating new particle formation between molecules of photooxidation products and semi-volatile organic compounds. From the measured concentrations of the above-mentioned compounds, saturation concentrations (Csat,i) of α- and β-pinene photooxidation products were calculated for nonideal conditions using a previously developed absorptive model. The results of these calculations indicated that primarily emitted organic species and ambient temperature play a crucial role in secondary organic aerosol formation.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kavouras IG; Stephanou EG
  • Start Page

  • 5083
  • End Page

  • 5091
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 23