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Soot Aging from OH-Initiated Oxidation of Toluene

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journal contribution
posted on 04.09.2012, 00:00 authored by Chong Qiu, Alexei F. Khalizov, Renyi Zhang
We have conducted laboratory experiments to investigate the impacts of secondary organic aerosol formation on soot properties from OH-initiated oxidation of toluene. Monodisperse soot particles are exposed to the oxidation products of the OH–toluene reaction in an environmental chamber, and variations in particle size, mass, organic mass faction, morphology, effective density, hygroscopicity, and optical properties are simultaneously determined by an integrated aerosol analytical system. The thickness of the organic coating, correlated to reaction time and initial reactant concentrations, is shown to largely govern the particle properties. With the development of organic coating, the soot core is changed from a highly fractal to compact form, evident from the measured effective density and dynamic shape factor. The organic coating increases the particle hygroscopicity, and further exposure of coated soot to elevated relative humidity results in a more spherical particle. The single scattering albedo and scattering and absorption cross sections are also enhanced with the organic coating. Our results suggest that the oxidation products of anthropogenic pollutants alter the composition and properties of soot particles and lead to increased particle density, hygroscopicity, and optical properties, considerably enhancing their impacts on air quality, climate forcing, and human health.