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Environ Sci Technol. 2017 Feb 7;51(3):1074-1093. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b04509. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Review of Urban Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from Gasoline and Diesel Motor Vehicle Emissions.

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Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut 06511, United States.
School of Forestry & Environmental Science, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut 06511, United States.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University , Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, United States.
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado , Boulder, Colorado 80309, United States.
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory , Boulder, Colorado 80305, United States.
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California , Riverside, California 92521, United States.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado , Boulder, Colorado 80309, United States.
Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute , Villigen, Switzerland.
Department of Chemistry, Université de Montréal , Montréal, QC, Canada.
Department of Atmosphere and Climate, Norwegian Institute for Air Research , 2007 Kjeller, Norway.
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California , Berkeley, California 94720, United States.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California , Berkeley, California 94720, United States.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, United States.


Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is formed from the atmospheric oxidation of gas-phase organic compounds leading to the formation of particle mass. Gasoline- and diesel-powered motor vehicles, both on/off-road, are important sources of SOA precursors. They emit complex mixtures of gas-phase organic compounds that vary in volatility and molecular structure-factors that influence their contributions to urban SOA. However, the relative importance of each vehicle type with respect to SOA formation remains unclear due to conflicting evidence from recent laboratory, field, and modeling studies. Both are likely important, with evolving contributions that vary with location and over short time scales. This review summarizes evidence, research needs, and discrepancies between top-down and bottom-up approaches used to estimate SOA from motor vehicles, focusing on inconsistencies between molecular-level understanding and regional observations. The effect of emission controls (e.g., exhaust aftertreatment technologies, fuel formulation) on SOA precursor emissions needs comprehensive evaluation, especially with international perspective given heterogeneity in regulations and technology penetration. Novel studies are needed to identify and quantify "missing" emissions that appear to contribute substantially to SOA production, especially in gasoline vehicles with the most advanced aftertreatment. Initial evidence suggests catalyzed diesel particulate filters greatly reduce emissions of SOA precursors along with primary aerosol.

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