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    Identification and source attribution of organic compounds in ultrafine particles near Frankfurt International Airport
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : European Geosciences Union, 2021) Ungeheuer, Florian; van Pinxteren, Dominik; Vogel, Alexander L.
    Analysing the composition of ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs) is a challenging task due to the low mass and chemical complexity of small particles, yet it is a prerequisite for the identification of particle sources and the assessment of potential health risks. Here, we show the molecular characterization of UFPs, based on cascade impactor (Nano-MOUDI) samples that were collected at an air quality monitoring station near one of Europe's largest airports, in Frankfurt, Germany. At this station, particle-size-distribution measurements show an enhanced number concentration of particles smaller than 50 nm during airport operating hours. We sampled the lower UFP fraction (0.010-0.018, 0.018-0.032, 0.032-0.056 classCombining double low lineinline-formula/m) when the air masses arrived from the airport. We developed an optimized filter extraction procedure using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) for compound separation and a heated electrospray ionization (HESI) source with an Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRMS) as a detector for organic compounds. A non-Target screening detected classCombining double low lineinline-formulag1/4200/ organic compounds in the UFP fraction with sample-To-blank ratios larger than 5. We identified the largest signals as homologous series of pentaerythritol esters (PEEs) and trimethylolpropane esters (TMPEs), which are base stocks of aircraft lubrication oils. We unambiguously attribute the majority of detected compounds to jet engine lubrication oils by matching retention times, high-resolution and accurate mass measurements, and comparing tandem mass spectrometry (MS classCombining double low lineinline-formula2/) fragmentation patterns between both ambient samples and commercially available jet oils. For each UFP stage, we created molecular fingerprints to visualize the complex chemical composition of the organic fraction and their average carbon oxidation state. These graphs underline the presence of the homologous series of PEEs and TMPEs and the appearance of jet oil additives (e.g.Tricresyl phosphate, TCP). Targeted screening of TCP confirmed the absence of the harmful tri-iortho/i isomer, while we identified a thermal transformation product of TMPE-based lubrication oil (trimethylolpropane phosphate, TMP-P). Even though a quantitative determination of the identified compounds is limited, the presented method enables the qualitative detection of molecular markers for jet engine lubricants in UFPs and thus strongly improves the source apportionment of UFPs near airports./p. © 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
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    Hydroxymethanesulfonic acid in size-segregated aerosol particles at nine sites in Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Scheinhardt, S.; van Pinxteren, D.; Müller, K.; Spindler, G.; Herrmann, H.
    In the course of two field campaigns, size-segregated particle samples were collected at nine sites in Germany, including traffic, urban, rural, marine and mountain sites. During the chemical characterisation of the samples some of them were found to contain an unknown substance that was later identified as hydroxymethanesulfonic acid (HMSA). HMSA is known to be formed during the reaction of S(IV) (HSO3− or SO32−) with formaldehyde in the aqueous phase. Due to its stability, HMSA can act as a reservoir species for S(IV) in the atmosphere and is therefore of interest for the understanding of atmospheric sulfur chemistry. However, no HMSA data are available for atmospheric particles from central Europe, and even on a worldwide scale data are scarce. Thus, the present study now provides a representative data set with detailed information on HMSA concentrations in size-segregated central European aerosol particles. HMSA mass concentrations in this data set were highly variable: HMSA was found in 224 out of 738 samples (30%), sometimes in high mass concentrations exceeding those of oxalic acid. On average over all 154 impactor runs, 31.5 ng m−3 HMSA was found in PM10, contributing 0.21% to the total mass. The results show that the particle diameter, the sampling location, the sampling season and the air mass origin impact the HMSA mass concentration. Highest concentrations were found in the particle fraction 0.42–1.2 μm, at urban sites, in winter and with eastern (continental) air masses, respectively. The results suggest that HMSA is formed during aging of pollution plumes. A positive correlation of HMSA with sulfate, oxalate and PM is found (R2 > 0.4). The results furthermore suggest that the fraction of HMSA in PM slightly decreases with increasing pH.
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    Particle hygroscopicity and its link to chemical composition in the urban atmosphere of Beijing, China, during summertime
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Wu, Z.J.; Zheng, J.; Shang, D.J.; Du, Z.F.; Wu, Y.S.; Zeng, L.M.; Wiedensohler, A.; Hu, M.
    Simultaneous measurements of particle number size distribution, particle hygroscopic properties, and size-resolved chemical composition were made during the summer of 2014 in Beijing, China. During the measurement period, the mean hygroscopicity parameters (κs) of 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 nm particles were respectively 0.16  ±  0.07, 0.19  ±  0.06, 0.22  ±  0.06, 0.26  ±  0.07, and 0.28  ±  0.10, showing an increasing trend with increasing particle size. Such size dependency of particle hygroscopicity was similar to that of the inorganic mass fraction in PM1. The hydrophilic mode (hygroscopic growth factor, HGF  >  1.2) was more prominent in growth factor probability density distributions and its dominance of hydrophilic mode became more pronounced with increasing particle size. When PM2.5 mass concentration was greater than 50 μg m−3, the fractions of the hydrophilic mode for 150, 250, and 350 nm particles increased towards 1 as PM2.5 mass concentration increased. This indicates that aged particles dominated during severe pollution periods in the atmosphere of Beijing. Particle hygroscopic growth can be well predicted using high-time-resolution size-resolved chemical composition derived from aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements using the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule. The organic hygroscopicity parameter (κorg) showed a positive correlation with the oxygen to carbon ratio. During the new particle formation event associated with strongly active photochemistry, the hygroscopic growth factor or κ of newly formed particles is greater than for particles with the same sizes not during new particle formation (NPF) periods. A quick transformation from external mixture to internal mixture for pre-existing particles (for example, 250 nm particles) was observed. Such transformations may modify the state of the mixture of pre-existing particles and thus modify properties such as the light absorption coefficient and cloud condensation nuclei activation.
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    A European aerosol phenomenology - 6: Scattering properties of atmospheric aerosol particles from 28 ACTRIS sites
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2018) Pandolfi, Marco; Alados-Arboledas, Lucas; Alastuey, Andrés; Andrade, Marcos; Angelov, Christo; Artiñano, Begoña; Backman, John; Baltensperger, Urs; Bonasoni, Paolo; Bukowiecki, Nicolas; Collaud Coen, Martine; Conil, Sébastien; Coz, Esther; Crenn, Vincent; Dudoitis, Vadimas; Ealo, Marina; Eleftheriadis, Kostas; Favez, Olivier; Fetfatzis, Prodromos; Fiebig, Markus; Flentje, Harald; Ginot, Patrick; Gysel, Martin; Henzing, Bas; Hoffer, Andras; Holubova Smejkalova, Adela; Kalapov, Ivo; Kalivitis, Nikos; Kouvarakis, Giorgos; Kristensson, Adam; Kulmala, Markku; Lihavainen, Heikki; Lunder, Chris; Luoma, Krista; Lyamani, Hassan; Marinoni, Angela; Mihalopoulos, Nikos; Moerman, Marcel; Nicolas, José; O'Dowd, Colin; Petäjä, Tuukka; Petit, Jean-Eudes; Pichon, Jean Marc; Prokopciuk, Nina; Putaud, Jean-Philippe; Rodríguez, Sergio; Sciare, Jean; Sellegri, Karine; Swietlicki, Erik; Titos, Gloria; Tuch, Thomas; Tunved, Peter; Ulevicius, Vidmantas; Vaishya, Aditya; Vana, Milan; Virkkula, Aki; Vratolis, Stergios; Weingartner, Ernest; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Laj, Paolo
    This paper presents the light-scattering properties of atmospheric aerosol particles measured over the past decade at 28 ACTRIS observatories, which are located mainly in Europe. The data include particle light scattering (σsp) and hemispheric backscattering (σbsp) coefficients, scattering Ångström exponent (SAE), backscatter fraction (BF) and asymmetry parameter (g). An increasing gradient of σsp is observed when moving from remote environments (arctic/mountain) to regional and to urban environments. At a regional level in Europe, σsp also increases when moving from Nordic and Baltic countries and from western Europe to central/eastern Europe, whereas no clear spatial gradient is observed for other station environments. The SAE does not show a clear gradient as a function of the placement of the station. However, a west-to-east-increasing gradient is observed for both regional and mountain placements, suggesting a lower fraction of fine-mode particle in western/south-western Europe compared to central and eastern Europe, where the fine-mode particles dominate the scattering. The g does not show any clear gradient by station placement or geographical location reflecting the complex relationship of this parameter with the physical properties of the aerosol particles. Both the station placement and the geographical location are important factors affecting the intraannual variability. At mountain sites, higher σsp and SAE values are measured in the summer due to the enhanced boundary layer influence and/or new particle-formation episodes. Conversely, the lower horizontal and vertical dispersion during winter leads to higher σsp values at all low-altitude sites in central and eastern Europe compared to summer. These sites also show SAE maxima in the summer (with corresponding g minima). At all sites, both SAE and g show a strong variation with aerosol particle loading. The lowest values of g are always observed together with low σsp values, indicating a larger contribution from particles in the smaller accumulation mode. During periods of high σsp values, the variation of g is less pronounced, whereas the SAE increases or decreases, suggesting changes mostly in the coarse aerosol particle mode rather than in the fine mode. Statistically significant decreasing trends of σsp are observed at 5 out of the 13 stations included in the trend analyses. The total reductions of σsp are consistent with those reported for PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentrations over similar periods across Europe.
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    Properties of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the trade wind marine boundary layer of the western North Atlantic
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Kristensen, Thomas B.; Müller, Thomas; Kandler, Konrad; Benker, Nathalie; Hartmann, Markus; Prospero, Joseph M.; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Stratmann, Frank
    Cloud optical properties in the trade winds over the eastern Caribbean Sea have been shown to be sensitive to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. The objective of the current study was to investigate the CCN properties in the marine boundary layer (MBL) in the tropical western North Atlantic, in order to assess the respective roles of inorganic sulfate, organic species, long-range transported mineral dust and sea-salt particles. Measurements were carried out in June–July 2013, on the east coast of Barbados, and included CCN number concentrations, particle number size distributions and offline analysis of sampled particulate matter (PM) and sampled accumulation mode particles for an investigation of composition and mixing state with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). During most of the campaign, significant mass concentrations of long-range transported mineral dust was present in the PM, and influence from local island sources can be ruled out. The CCN and particle number concentrations were similar to what can be expected in pristine marine environments. The hygroscopicity parameter κ was inferred, and values in the range 0.2–0.5 were found during most of the campaign, with similar values for the Aitken and the accumulation mode. The accumulation mode particles studied with TEM were dominated by non-refractory material, and concentrations of mineral dust, sea salt and soot were too small to influence the CCN properties. It is highly likely that the CCN were dominated by a mixture of sulfate species and organic compounds.