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Evidence for an Unrecognized Secondary Anthropogenic Source of Organosulfates and Sulfonates: Gas-Phase Oxidation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Presence of Sulfate Aerosol

Riva, Matthieu, Tomaz, Sophie, Cui, Tianqu, Lin, Ying-Hsuan, Perraudin, Emilie, Gold, Avram, Stone, Elizabeth A., Villenave, Eric, Surratt, Jason D.
Environmental Science & Technology 2015 v.49 no.11 pp. 6654-6664
acidity, aerosols, anthropogenic activities, gases, ionization, mass spectrometry, naphthalene, photooxidation, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, relative humidity, sulfates, sulfonates, tracer techniques, ultra-performance liquid chromatography, Pakistan, United States
In the present study, formation of aromatic organosulfates (OSs) from the photo-oxidation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was investigated. Naphthalene (NAP) and 2-methylnaphthalene (2-MeNAP), two of the most abundant gas-phase PAHs and thought to represent “missing” sources of urban SOA, were photochemically oxidized in an outdoor smog chamber facility in the presence of nonacidified and acidified sulfate seed aerosol. Effects of seed aerosol composition, acidity and relative humidity on OS formation were examined. Chemical characterization of SOA extracts by ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization high-resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry revealed the formation of OSs and sulfonates from photo-oxidation in the presence of sulfate seed aerosol. Many of the organosulfur compounds identified in the smog chamber extracts were also measured in urban fine aerosol collected at Lahore, Pakistan, and Pasadena, USA, demonstrating that PAH photo-oxidation in the presence of sulfate aerosol is a hitherto unrecognized source of anthropogenic secondary organosulfur compounds, and providing new PAH SOA tracers.