Journal article

Secondary aerosol formation from photochemical aging of aircraft exhaust in a smog chamber

Miracolo M, Hennigan C, Ranjan M, Nguyen N, Gordon T, Lipsky E, Presto A, Donahue N, Robinson A ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 11, issue 9 (2011) pp. 4135-4147

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Field experiments were performed to investigate the effects of
photo-oxidation on fine particle emissions from an in-use CFM56-2B gas
turbine engine mounted on a KC-135 Stratotanker airframe. Emissions were
sampled into a portable smog chamber from a rake inlet installed
one-meter downstream of the engine exit plane of a parked and chocked
aircraft. The chamber was then exposed to sunlight and/or UV lights to
initiate photo-oxidation. Separate tests were performed at different
engine loads (4, 7, 30, 85%). Photo-oxidation created substantial
secondary particulate matter (PM), greatly exceeding the direct PM
emissions at each engine load after an hour or less of aging at typical
summertime conditions. After several hours of photo-oxidation, the ratio
of secondary-to-primary PM mass was on average 35 +/- 4.1, 17 +/- 2.5,
60 +/- 2.2, and 2.7 +/- 1.1 for the 4, 7, 30, and 85% load experiments,
respectively. The composition of secondary PM formed strongly depended
on load. At 4% load, secondary PM was dominated by secondary organic
aerosol (SOA). At higher loads, the secondary PM was mainly secondary
sulfate. A traditional SOA model that accounts for SOA formation from
single-ring aromatics and other volatile organic compounds underpredicts
the measured SOA formation by similar to 60% at 4% load and similar to
40% at 85% load. Large amounts of lower-volatility organic vapors were
measured in the exhaust; they represent a significant pool of SOA
precursors that are not included in traditional SOA models. These
results underscore the importance of accounting for atmospheric
processing when assessing the influence of aircraft emissions on ambient
PM levels. Models that do not account for this processing will likely
underpredict the contribution of aircraft emissions to local and
regional air pollution.

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  • M. A. Miracolo

  • C. J. Hennigan

  • M. Ranjan

  • N. T. Nguyen

  • T. D. Gordon

  • E. M. Lipsky

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