Secondary organic aerosol formation and organic nitrate yield from NO3 oxidation of biogenic hydrocarbons

Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Oct 21;48(20):11944-53. doi: 10.1021/es502204x. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


The secondary organic aerosol (SOA) mass yields from NO3 oxidation of a series of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), consisting of five monoterpenes and one sesquiterpene (α-pinene, β-pinene, Δ-3-carene, limonene, sabinene, and β-caryophyllene), were investigated in a series of continuous flow experiments in a 10 m(3) indoor Teflon chamber. By making in situ measurements of the nitrate radical and employing a kinetics box model, we generate time-dependent yield curves as a function of reacted BVOC. SOA yields varied dramatically among the different BVOCs, from zero for α-pinene to 38-65% for Δ-3-carene and 86% for β-caryophyllene at mass loading of 10 μg m(-3), suggesting that model mechanisms that treat all NO3 + monoterpene reactions equally will lead to errors in predicted SOA depending on each location's mix of BVOC emissions. In most cases, organonitrate is a dominant component of the aerosol produced, but in the case of α-pinene, little organonitrate and no aerosol is formed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / chemistry*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollutants / chemistry
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds / chemistry
  • Cyclohexenes / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Limonene
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Nitrates / chemistry*
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes / chemistry
  • Terpenes / chemistry
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / chemistry*


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Nitrates
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Terpenes
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • beta-pinene
  • sabinene
  • Limonene
  • caryophyllene
  • 3-carene
  • alpha-pinene