Investigating water soluble organic aerosols: sources and evolution

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Hecobian, Arsineh N.
Weber, Rodney J.
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An existing method for the measurement of atmospheric gaseous species was modified to collect data on aerosol concentrations. Data from biomass burning events in different regions (Canada, the Arctic and California) were collected during April to July, 2008 and the concentrations and evolution of secondary organic aerosols were discussed. And finally, data on the light absorbing properties of water soluble organic aerosols were collected in Atlanta, GA and compared with filter data for the same properties. The results presented in this thesis showed that a negative ion chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS), can be modified by the addition of a thermally denuded inlet to measure aerosol phase sulfuric acid. This system can also be used to measure other aerosol phase organic acids. In the biomass burning plumes studied in the second part, no clear indication of formation of secondary aerosol or gaseous species was observed, except for peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN). Filter data collected from FRM sites in the Southeastern U.S. showed that biomass burning is the most dominant source of water soluble light absorbing carbonaceous aerosol in this region. The data from a study in Atlanta, GA showed that the online PILS-LWCC-WSOC system might be used for measurements of light absorbing properties of aerosols and WSOC.
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