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Chemical characterisation of atmospheric aerosols during a 2007 summer field campaign at Brasschaat, Belgium: Sources and source processes of biogenic secondary organic aerosol

by Y. Gómez-González, W. Wang, R. Vermeylen, X. Chi, J. Neirynck, I. A. Janssens, W. Maenhaut, M. Claeys
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()

Abstract

Measurements of org. marker compds. and inorg. species were performed on PM2.5 aerosols from a Belgian forest site that is severely impacted by urban pollution ("De Inslag", Brasschaat, Belgium) during a 2007 summer period within the framework of the "Formation mechanisms, marker compds., and source apportionment for biogenic atm. aerosols (BIOSOL)" project. The measured org. species included (i) low-mol. wt. (MW) dicarboxylic acids (LMW DCAs), (ii) methanesulfonate (MSA), (iii) terpenoic acids originating from the oxidn. of α-pinene, β-pinene, d-limonene and Δ3-carene, and (iv) organosulfates related to secondary org. aerosol from the oxidn. of isoprene and α-pinene. The org. tracers explained, on av., 5.3 % of the org. carbon (OC), of which 0.7 % was due to MSA, 3.4 % to LMW DCAs, 0.6 % to organosulfates, and 0.6 % to terpenoic acids. The highest atm. concns. of most species were obsd. during the first five days of the campaign, which were characterized by max. day-time temps. >22 °C. Most of the terpenoic acids and the organosulfates peaked during day-time, consistent with their local photochem. origin. High concns. of 3-methyl-1,2,3-butanetricarboxylic acid (MBTCA) and low concns. of cis-pinonic acid were noted during the first five days of the campaign, indicative of an aged biogenic aerosol. Several correlations between org. species were very high (r>0.85), high (0.7<r<0.85), or substantial (0.5<r<0.7), suggesting that they are generated through similar formation pathways. Substantial correlations with temp. were found for OC, water-sol. OC, MBTCA, and several other org. species. MBTCA and terebic acid were highly correlated with the temp. (r>0.7) and showed an Arrhenius-type relationship, consistent with their formation through OH radical chem. [on SciFinder(R)]

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