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Prof. Drew Gentner (YaleU) - SOCAAR Seminars(UofT)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

3:00 – 4:00 PM
200 College Street, WB 407

New perspectives on sources of reactive gas-phase organic compounds & the chemical complexity of secondary organic aerosol

Abstract: Gas-phase organic compounds (including volatile organic compounds; VOCs) are key precursors to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and tropospheric ozone. Through several bottom-up approaches, we evaluate the evolving role of non-combustion-related emissions in urban air quality, and demonstrate that non-combustion-related sources now contribute a major, but poorly-characterized fraction of SOA and ozone precursors from anthropogenic sources. We present an expanded framework for classifying volatile, intermediate, and semi-volatile emissions from this diverse array of sources that emphasizes a life cycle approach over longer timescales and multiple separate emission pathways. We also perform an extensive untargeted molecular-level intercomparison of SOA from three diverse field sites and an environmental chamber. Despite similar bulk composition, we report large molecular-level variability between multi-hour organic aerosol samples at each site, with 66% of compounds differing between consecutive samples. Through observations and model results, we evaluate the roles of emissions, chemical age, and oxidation conditions in driving this variability, and its potential implications.


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