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1.
Nature ; 581(7807): 184-189, 2020 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32405020

RESUMO

A list of authors and their affiliations appears at the end of the paper New-particle formation is a major contributor to urban smog1,2, but how it occurs in cities is often puzzling3. If the growth rates of urban particles are similar to those found in cleaner environments (1-10 nanometres per hour), then existing understanding suggests that new urban particles should be rapidly scavenged by the high concentration of pre-existing particles. Here we show, through experiments performed under atmospheric conditions in the CLOUD chamber at CERN, that below about +5 degrees Celsius, nitric acid and ammonia vapours can condense onto freshly nucleated particles as small as a few nanometres in diameter. Moreover, when it is cold enough (below -15 degrees Celsius), nitric acid and ammonia can nucleate directly through an acid-base stabilization mechanism to form ammonium nitrate particles. Given that these vapours are often one thousand times more abundant than sulfuric acid, the resulting particle growth rates can be extremely high, reaching well above 100 nanometres per hour. However, these high growth rates require the gas-particle ammonium nitrate system to be out of equilibrium in order to sustain gas-phase supersaturations. In view of the strong temperature dependence that we measure for the gas-phase supersaturations, we expect such transient conditions to occur in inhomogeneous urban settings, especially in wintertime, driven by vertical mixing and by strong local sources such as traffic. Even though rapid growth from nitric acid and ammonia condensation may last for only a few minutes, it is nonetheless fast enough to shepherd freshly nucleated particles through the smallest size range where they are most vulnerable to scavenging loss, thus greatly increasing their survival probability. We also expect nitric acid and ammonia nucleation and rapid growth to be important in the relatively clean and cold upper free troposphere, where ammonia can be convected from the continental boundary layer and nitric acid is abundant from electrical storms4,5.

2.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 4442, 2019 09 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31570718

RESUMO

Particles formed in the atmosphere via nucleation provide about half the number of atmospheric cloud condensation nuclei, but in many locations, this process is limited by the growth of the newly formed particles. That growth is often via condensation of organic vapors. Identification of these vapors and their sources is thus fundamental for simulating changes to aerosol-cloud interactions, which are one of the most uncertain aspects of anthropogenic climate forcing. Here we present direct molecular-level observations of a distribution of organic vapors in a forested environment that can explain simultaneously observed atmospheric nanoparticle growth from 3 to 50 nm. Furthermore, the volatility distribution of these vapors is sufficient to explain nanoparticle growth without invoking particle-phase processes. The agreement between observed mass growth, and the growth predicted from the observed mass of condensing vapors in a forested environment thus represents an important step forward in the characterization of atmospheric particle growth.

3.
ACS Earth Space Chem ; 3(9): 1756-1772, 2019 Sep 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31565682

RESUMO

One barrier to predicting biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation in a changing climate can be attributed to the complex nature of plant volatile emissions. Plant volatile emissions are dynamic over space and time, and change in response to environmental stressors. This study investigated SOA production from emissions of healthy and aphid-stressed Scots pine saplings via dark ozonolysis and photooxidation chemistry. Laboratory experiments using a batch reaction chamber were used to investigate SOA production from different plant volatile mixtures. The volatile mixture from healthy plants included monoterpenes, aromatics, and a small amount of sesquiterpenes. The biggest change in the volatile mixture for aphid-stressed plants was a large increase (from 1.4 to 7.9 ppb) in sesquiterpenes-particularly acyclic sesquiterpenes, such as the farnesene isomers. Acyclic sesquiterpenes had different effects on SOA production depending on the chemical mechanism. Farnesenes suppressed SOA formation from ozonolysis with a 9.7-14.6% SOA mass yield from healthy plant emissions and a 6.9-10.4% SOA mass yield from aphid-stressed plant emissions. Ozonolysis of volatile mixtures containing more farnesenes promoted fragmentation reactions, which produced higher volatility oxidation products. In contrast, plant volatile mixtures containing more farnesenes did not appreciably change SOA production from photooxidation. SOA mass yields ranged from 10.8 to 23.2% from healthy plant emissions and 17.8-26.8% for aphid-stressed plant emissions. This study highlights the potential importance of acyclic terpene chemistry in a future climate regime with an increased presence of plant stress volatiles.

4.
Geophys Res Lett ; 44(5): 2562-2570, 2017 Mar 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28503004

RESUMO

Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) forms a major fraction of organic aerosols in the atmosphere. Knowledge of SOA properties that affect their dynamics in the atmosphere is needed for improving climate models. By combining experimental and modeling techniques, we investigated the factors controlling SOA evaporation under different humidity conditions. Our experiments support the conclusion of particle phase diffusivity limiting the evaporation under dry conditions. Viscosity of particles at dry conditions was estimated to increase several orders of magnitude during evaporation, up to 109 Pa s. However, at atmospherically relevant relative humidity and time scales, our results show that diffusion limitations may have a minor effect on evaporation of the studied α-pinene SOA particles. Based on previous studies and our model simulations, we suggest that, in warm environments dominated by biogenic emissions, the major uncertainty in models describing the SOA particle evaporation is related to the volatility of SOA constituents.

5.
Nat Commun ; 7: 11594, 2016 05 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27197574

RESUMO

The growth of freshly formed aerosol particles can be the bottleneck in their survival to cloud condensation nuclei. It is therefore crucial to understand how particles grow in the atmosphere. Insufficient experimental data has impeded a profound understanding of nano-particle growth under atmospheric conditions. Here we study nano-particle growth in the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoors Droplets) chamber, starting from the formation of molecular clusters. We present measured growth rates at sub-3 nm sizes with different atmospherically relevant concentrations of sulphuric acid, water, ammonia and dimethylamine. We find that atmospheric ions and small acid-base clusters, which are not generally accounted for in the measurement of sulphuric acid vapour, can participate in the growth process, leading to enhanced growth rates. The availability of compounds capable of stabilizing sulphuric acid clusters governs the magnitude of these effects and thus the exact growth mechanism. We bring these observations into a coherent framework and discuss their significance in the atmosphere.

7.
J Phys Chem A ; 118(14): 2599-611, 2014 Apr 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24678924

RESUMO

Formation of new particles through clustering of molecules from condensable vapors is a significant source for atmospheric aerosols. The smallest clusters formed in the very first steps of the condensation process are, however, not directly observable by experimental means. We present here a comprehensive series of electronic structure calculations on the hydrates of clusters formed by up to four molecules of sulfuric acid, and up to two molecules of ammonia or dimethylamine. Though clusters containing ammonia, and certainly dimethylamine, generally exhibit lower average hydration than the pure acid clusters, populations of individual hydrates vary widely. Furthermore, we explore the predictions obtained using a thermodynamic model for the description of these hydrates. The similar magnitude and trends of hydrate formation predicted by both methods illustrate the potential of combining them to obtain more comprehensive models. The stabilization of some clusters relative to others due to their hydration is highly likely to have significant effects on the overall processes that lead to formation of new particles in the atmosphere.


Assuntos
Atmosfera/química , Simulação de Dinâmica Molecular , Termodinâmica , Aerossóis/química , Amônia/química , Dimetilaminas/química , Elétrons , Ácidos Sulfúricos/química , Água/química
8.
Environ Sci Technol ; 47(21): 12123-30, 2013.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24107221

RESUMO

Condensation and evaporation modify the properties and effects of atmospheric aerosol particles. We studied the evaporation of aqueous succinic acid and succinic acid/ammonium sulfate droplets to obtain insights on the effect of ammonium sulfate on the gas/particle partitioning of atmospheric organic acids. Droplet evaporation in a laminar flow tube was measured in a Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer setup. A wide range of droplet compositions was investigated, and for some of the experiments the composition was tracked using an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer. The measured evaporation was compared to model predictions where the ammonium sulfate was assumed not to directly affect succinic acid evaporation. The model captured the evaporation rates for droplets with large organic content but overestimated the droplet size change when the molar concentration of succinic acid was similar to or lower than that of ammonium sulfate, suggesting that ammonium sulfate enhances the partitioning of dicarboxylic acids to aqueous particles more than currently expected from simple mixture thermodynamics. If extrapolated to the real atmosphere, these results imply enhanced partitioning of secondary organic compounds to particulate phase in environments dominated by inorganic aerosol.


Assuntos
Aerossóis/química , Sulfato de Amônio/química , Atmosfera/química , Ácido Succínico/química , Cromatografia Líquida de Alta Pressão/métodos , Ácidos Dicarboxílicos/química , Espectrometria de Massas/instrumentação , Espectrometria de Massas/métodos , Modelos Químicos , Compostos Orgânicos/química , Soluções , Termodinâmica , Volatilização , Água
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