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Cloud Processing Of Organic Compounds

Overview

Cloud processing of atmospheric organic compounds has been investigated through field studies, laboratory experiments, and numerical modeling. Observational cloud chemistry studies were performed in northern Arizona and fog studies in central Pennsylvania. At both locations, the cloud and fogs showed low acidity due to neutralization by soil dust components (Arizona) and ammonia (Pennsylvania). The field observations showed substantial concentrations (20-5500 ng•L -1) of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the ...
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Overview

Cloud processing of atmospheric organic compounds has been investigated through field studies, laboratory experiments, and numerical modeling. Observational cloud chemistry studies were performed in northern Arizona and fog studies in central Pennsylvania. At both locations, the cloud and fogs showed low acidity due to neutralization by soil dust components (Arizona) and ammonia (Pennsylvania). The field observations showed substantial concentrations (20-5500 ng•L -1) of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the cloud droplets. The potential generation of secondary organic aerosol mass through the processing of these anthropogenic VOCs was investigated through laboratory and modeling studies. Under simulated atmospheric conditions, in idealized solutions, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) degraded quickly in the aqueous phase with half lives of approximately three hours. The degradation process yielded less volatile products which would contribute to new aerosol mass upon cloud evaporation. However, when realistic cloud solutions containing natural organic matter were used in the experiments, the reaction kinetics decreased with increasing organic carbon content, resulting in half lives of approximately 7 hours. The secondary organic aerosol (SUA) mass formation potential of cloud processing of BTEX was evaluated. SOA mass formation by cloud processing of BTEX, while strongly dependent on the atmospheric conditions, could contribute up to 9% of the ambient atmospheric aerosol mass, although typically ∼1% appears realistic. Field observations also showed the occurrence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a potent carcinogen, in fogs and clouds (100-340 ng•L -1). Laboratory studies were conducted to investigate the formation of NDMA from nitrous acid and dimethylamine in the homogeneous aqueous phase within cloud droplets. While NDMA was produced in the cloud droplets, the low yields (<1%) observed could not explain observational concentrations. Therefore heterogeneous or gaseous formation of NDMA with partitioning to droplet must be the source of aqueous NDMA. Box-model calculations tended to demonstrate a predominance of a gas phase formation mechanism followed by partitioning into the cloud droplets. The calculations were consistent with field measurements of gaseous and aqueous NDMA concentrations. Measurements and model calculations showed that while NDMA is eventually photolyzed, it might persist in the atmosphere for hours.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243754905
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/9/2011
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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