Measuring Uptake Coefficients and Henry’s Law Constants of Gas-Phase Species with Models for Secondary Organic Aerosol

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Michelle Christine Fairhurst, Carla Waring-Kidd, Michael J Ezell and Barbara J Finlayson-Pitts, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are oxidized in the atmosphere and their products contribute to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. These particles have been shown to have effects on visibility, climate, and human health. Current models typically under-predict SOA concentrations from field measurements. Underestimation of these concentrations could be a result of how models treat particle growth. It is often assumed that particles grow via instantaneous thermal equilibrium partitioning between liquid particles and gas-phase species.  Recent work has shown that growth may be better represented by irreversible, kinetically limited uptake of gas-phase species onto more viscous, tar-like SOA.  However, uptake coefficients for these processes are not known. The goal of this project is to measure uptake coefficients and solubilities for different gases onto models serving as proxies for SOA and determine how they vary based on the chemical composition of the gas and the condensed phase. Experiments were conducted using two approaches: attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and a flow system coupled to a mass spectrometer. The ATR crystal was coated with the SOA proxy and the gas-phase species introduced via a custom flow system. Uptake of the gas-phase species was characterized by measuring the intensity of characteristic IR bands as a function of time, from which a Henry’s law constant and initial estimate of uptake coefficients could be obtained. Uptake coefficients were also measured in a flow system where the walls of the flow tube were coated with the SOA proxy and gas-phase species introduced via a moveable inlet. Uptake coefficients were derived from the decay in gas-phase species measured by mass spectrometry. The results of this work will establish a structure-interaction relationship for uptake of gases into SOA that can be implemented into regional and global models.