Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2255
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2255
29 Nov 2023
 | 29 Nov 2023

Sources of organic gases and aerosol particles and their roles in nighttime particle growth at a rural forested site in southwest Germany

Junwei Song, Harald Saathoff, Feng Jiang, Linyu Gao, Hengheng Zhang, and Thomas Leisner

Abstract. The composition, sources and chemical transformation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and organic aerosol (OA) particles were investigated during July–August 2021 at a rural forested site in southwest Germany. VOCs and semi-volatile OA particles were measured with a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer coupled with a particle inlet (CHARON-PTR-MS). The CHARON-measured OA mass accounted on average for 63 ± 18 % of the total OA mass (4.2 ± 2.8 μg m-3) concurrently measured by an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS). The total concentrations of measured VOCs ranged from 7.6 to 88.9 ppb with an average of 31.2 ± 13.4 ppb. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was used to identify major source factors of VOCs and OA. Three factors of oxygenated VOC (OVOC), namely aromatic-OVOCs, biogenic-OVOCs and aged-OVOCs contributed on average 11 % ± 9 %, 37 % ± 29 %, 29 % ± 21 % of total VOC concentrations, respectively. The results of AMS-PMF indicated substantial contributions of oxygenated organic compounds to OA particle mass. Consistently, three secondary OA (SOA) factors determined by CHARON-PMF analysis, namely aromatic-SOA (5 % ± 7 %), daytime-biogenic SOA (17 % ± 17 %), nighttime-biogenic SOA (28 % ± 21 %), showed high contributions to total CHARON-measured OA mass. Nighttime particle growth was observed regularly at this area, which was mainly attributed by the semi-volatile organic compounds and organic nitrates formed from the oxidation of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. This study presents major sources, real-time transformations of VOCs and OA, and nighttime particle formation characteristic for central European forested areas.

Junwei Song, Harald Saathoff, Feng Jiang, Linyu Gao, Hengheng Zhang, and Thomas Leisner

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2255', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2255', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Jan 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2255', Anonymous Referee #3, 26 Jan 2024
Junwei Song, Harald Saathoff, Feng Jiang, Linyu Gao, Hengheng Zhang, and Thomas Leisner
Junwei Song, Harald Saathoff, Feng Jiang, Linyu Gao, Hengheng Zhang, and Thomas Leisner

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Short summary
This study presents the concurrent online measurements of organic gas and particles (VOCs and OA) at a forest site in summer. Both VOCs and OA were largely contributed by oxygenated organic compounds. Semi-volatile oxygenated OA and organic nitrate formed from monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes contribute significantly to nighttime particle growth. The results help to understand the causes of nighttime particle growth regularly observed in summer in the central European rural forested environments.