Determination of Water Soluble Organic Carbon Collected ~1 km above the Earth’s Surface during a Mid-Atlantic Air Quality Episode and Comparison to Aerosol Optical Properties

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Lacey C Brent1, Hao He2, Heather Leigh Arkinson3, Jeffrey William Stehr3, Allison Ring4, Lackson Marufu3, Jessica Reiner1, Lane C Sander1 and Russell R Dickerson5, (1)NIST, Gaithersburg, MD, United States, (2)University of Maryland College Park, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, College Park, MD, United States, (3)University of Maryland College Park, Oceanic and Atmospheric Science, College Park, MD, United States, (4)University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States, (5)University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States
Routine, light aircraft air-monitoring conducted in MD provides insight into atmospheric photochemical processing as a function of altitude in the boundary layer and lower free troposphere. We present correlations between the optical properties and chemical composition of aerosols at ~1 km altitude over Maryland. Data were collected during the peak smog day and a dissipation day during an air quality episode studied in DISCOVER-AQ, July 2011. Post flight filter sample analysis shows a positive trend between measurable carboxylate concentrations and particle size with a recirculating, aged, urban air mass influenced with southeasterly marine winds (peak day). A westerly influx of air from the Ohio River Valley on the dissipation day was depleted in carboxylates compared with samples collected over the same location two days prior. These samples contained quantifiable concentrations of cis-pinonic acid, a reaction product of pinene after ozonation and photochemical oxidation.

New techniques were developed to improve airborne data collection and analysis of water soluble organic acids (WSOA), a frequently dominant fraction of particulate matter (PM). An ion chromatographic mass spectrometric method was developed using NIST Standard Referencing Material 1649b, Urban Dust, as a surrogate material to achieve separation and resolution of at least 34 organic acids. Analysis of aircraft filter samples resulted in detection of 16 organic acids of which 12 were quantified. Eight inorganic species were also quantified. Aged, re-circulated metropolitan air showed a greater number of dicarboxylic acids than new transport air from the west and may provide a useful test of SOA formation theory.