The Use of a Continuous Flow Reactor to Study Secondary Organic Aerosol Composition

K. L. Pereira, F. Squires, Y.F. Ten, J. Brady, J. F. Hamilton

Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) constitutes a significant proportion of ambient particulate matter and exhibits substantial chemical complexity. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted into the atmosphere, undergo oxidation forming species of low volatility which can partition into the particulate phase forming SOA. The mechanisms of SOA formation are poorly understood, requiring new innovative techniques and methods to gain greater insights into SOA formation and evolution. In this work, we present the use of a medium scale continuous flow reactor (CFR) to study SOA composition. The CFR consists of a 300L polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) gas sampling bag with an Hg Pen-Ray Lamp (254 nm). VOCs are continuously introduced into the reactor through a heated sample line and oxidised with ozone to form SOA.

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