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

Juliane L. Fry*, Danielle C. Draper, Kelley C. Barsanti, James N. Smith, John Ortega, Paul M. Winkler, Michael J. Lawler, Steven S. Brown, Peter M. Edwards, Ronald C. Cohen, Lance Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


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 m3 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11944-11953
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


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