In a recent study, RJ Lee Group alongside researchers from multiple academic and industry entities such as Carnegie Mellon University and NOAA have worked jointly on identifying the sources for secondary organic aerosols (SOA) in source-rich urban environments. The team performed mobile sampling studies involving the highly sophisticated aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and two different types of proton-transfer reaction mass spectrometers (PTR-MS). RJ Lee Group provided the commercial PTR-MS as well as modeling and interpretation support. The second PTR-MS was provided by NOAA (Boulder, CO) and was their custom-built instrument.
The results of the mobile measurements were folded into current models on the formation of SOA. One hypothesis that was tested was whether non-traditional emissions such as volatile chemical products are emerging as the primary source rather than the traditionally considered vehicular and biogenic emissions. Two SOA models were used to assess the different contributions of the two classes of volatile organics. By applying a targeted approach of an oxidation flow reactor in the mobile aerosol laboratory to simulate in-situ formation of the particulate matter the different regimes could be better attributed to than in any previous study.
To read the abstract from this publication, please click here.