Effect of Relative Humidity and Temperature on Photochemical Aging of Secondary Organic Aerosols
Friday, 19 December 2014: 2:16 PM
The viscosity of secondary organic aerosol material (SOM) is known to depend sensitively on both temperature and relative humidity (RH). This work investigates the effect of these two important environmental variables on photochemical processes occurring inside model SOM. The experiments are designed to test the hypothesis that an increased SOM viscosity, resulting from either lower temperatures or decreased RH, should slow down the rates of photochemical processes in the organic matrix by constraining molecular motion inside the matrix. Photolysis of a probe molecule, 2,4-dinitrophenol, dispersed in SOM made produced through oxidation of alpha-pinene and limonene by ozone is investigated with absorption spectroscopy methods under controlled humidity and temperature. Viscosity of SOM is directly measured using “bead-mobility” technique and “poke-flow” techniques. Finally, the products of 2,4-dinitrophenol are analyzed by liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry methods. The experiments suggest that the presence of water strongly affects photodegradation rates of organic compounds contained in the SOM matrix. Given the paramount role of photochemistry in driving the chemical reactions in the environment, these results will have significant implications for predicting lifetimes of photolabile atmospheric organic compounds trapped in organic particles.