Effect of chemical aging of monoterpene products on biogenic secondary organic aerosol concentrations
Capturing the effects of the complex processes of chemical aging of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) in chemical transport models (CTMs) has been challenging. Recent laboratory results from atmospheric simulation chambers are used in this study to develop a parameterization for biogenic SOA formation as a result of aging for use in CTMs using the Volatility Basis Set framework. This parameterization was implemented in PMCAMx which was then applied over the eastern United States to simulate summertime conditions. Using the base case parameterization of monoterpene SOA chemical aging resulted in modest increases (17-21%) in predicted domain average biogenic SOA. An alternative parameterization was developed fitting the same laboratory results, but assuming higher volatility products of chemical aging reactions. Use of this parameterization resulted in small increases (1-4%) of the predicted biogenic SOA. The PMCAMx predictions in sites where most of the SOA was biogenic were evaluated against measurements from the EPA IMPROVE network in July 2001 and during the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study in June 2013. The differences in the model performance were modest and mixed, a result consistent with the relatively small effect of the proposed parameterization on total organic aerosol levels.