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Sci Total Environ. 2010 Jul 15;408(16):3374-81. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.04.013. Epub 2010 May 10.

Secondary organic aerosol formation from a large number of reactive man-made organic compounds.

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rdscientific, Newbury, Berkshire, UK.


A photochemical trajectory model has been used to examine the relative propensities of a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by human activities to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA) under one set of highly idealised conditions representing northwest Europe. This study applied a detailed speciated VOC emission inventory and the Master Chemical Mechanism version 3.1 (MCM v3.1) gas phase chemistry, coupled with an optimised representation of gas-aerosol absorptive partitioning of 365 oxygenated chemical reaction product species. In all, SOA formation was estimated from the atmospheric oxidation of 113 emitted VOCs. A number of aromatic compounds, together with some alkanes and terpenes, showed significant propensities to form SOA. When these propensities were folded into a detailed speciated emission inventory, 15 organic compounds together accounted for 97% of the SOA formation potential of UK man made VOC emissions and 30 emission source categories accounted for 87% of this potential. After road transport and the chemical industry, SOA formation was dominated by the solvents sector which accounted for 28% of the SOA formation potential.

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