Evidence for a significant proportion of secondary organic aerosol from isoprene above a maritime tropical forest

by N. H. Robinson, J. F. Hamilton, J. D. Allan, B. Langford, D. E. Oram, Q. Chen, K. Docherty, D. K. Farmer, J. L. Jimenez, M. W. Ward, C. N. Hewitt, M. H. Barley, M. E. Jenkin, A. R. Rickard, S. T. Martin, G. McFiggans, H. Coe show all authors
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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Isoprene is the most abundant non-methane bio-genic volatile organic compound (BVOC), but the processes governing secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from isoprene oxidation are only beginning to become understood and selective quantification of the atmospheric particulate burden remains difficult. Organic aerosol above a tropical rainforest located in Danum Valley, Borneo, Malaysia, a high isoprene emission region, was studied during Summer 2008 using Aerosol Mass Spectrometry and offline detailed char-acterisation using comprehensive two dimensional gas chro-matography. Observations indicate that a substantial frac-tion (up to 15% by mass) of atmospheric sub-micron organic aerosol was observed as methylfuran (MF) after thermal des-orption. This observation was associated with the simulta-neous measurements of established gas-phase isoprene oxi-dation products methylvinylketone (MVK) and methacrolein (MACR). Observations of MF were also made during ex-perimental chamber oxidation of isoprene. Positive matrix factorisation of the AMS organic mass spectral time series produced a robust factor which accounts for an average of 23% (0.18 µg m −3), reaching as much as 53% (0.50 µg m −3) of the total oraganic loading, identified by (and highly

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