Estimates of non-traditional secondary organic aerosols from aircraft SVOC and IVOC emissions using CMAQ

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Utilizing an aircraft-specific parameterization based on smog chamber data in the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model with the volatility basis set (VBS), we estimated contributions of non-traditional secondary organic aerosols (NTSOA) for aircraft emissions during landing and takeoff (LTO) activities at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. NTSOA, formed from the oxidation of semi-volatile and intermediate volatility organic compounds (S/IVOCs), is a heretofore unaccounted component of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in most air quality models. We expanded a prerelease version of CMAQ with VBS implemented for the Carbon Bond 2005 (CB05) chemical mechanism to use the Statewide Air Pollution Research Center 2007 (SAPRC-07) chemical mechanism and added species representing aircraft S/IVOCs and corresponding NTSOA oxidation products. Results indicated that the maximum monthly average NTSOA contributions occurred at the airport and ranged from 2.4 ng m-3 (34 % from idle and 66 % from non-idle aircraft activities) in January to 9.1 ng m-3 (33 and 67 %) in July. This represents 1.7 % (of 140 ng m-3) in January and 7.4 % in July (of 122 ng m-3) of aircraft-attributable PM2.5 compared to 41.0-42.0 % from elemental carbon and 42.8-58.0 % from inorganic aerosols. As a percentage of PM2.5, impacts were higher downwind of the airport, where NTSOA averaged 4.6-17.9 % of aircraft-attributable PM2.5 and, considering alternative aging schemes, was as high as 24.0 % - thus indicating the increased contribution of aircraft-attributable SOA as a component of PM2.5. However, NTSOA contributions were generally low compared to smog chamber results, particularly at idle, due to the considerably lower ambient organic aerosol concentrations in CMAQ compared to those in the smog chamber experiments.




Woody, M. C., West, J. J., Jathar, S. H., Robinson, A. L., & Arunachalam, S. (2015). Estimates of non-traditional secondary organic aerosols from aircraft SVOC and IVOC emissions using CMAQ. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 15(12), 6929–6942.

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