Diesel soot (black carbon, BC) is an important light absorbing aerosol component in atmosphere that can cause tropospheric heating. Laboratory studies have found it to be unreactive to ozone at ambient temperature. The low uptake coefficient i.e., γ 300 K = 2× 10-7 , of the soot-O3 reaction indicates a low probability of irreversible O3 loss from gas phase to surface-adsorbed product (Particle phase). This shows clearly that at low temperature soot is not reactive with atmospheric oxidants. In contrast, sesquiterpenes (SQT) such as β-caryophyllene (C15H24), which are produced primarily by plants, are extremely reactive with ozone. For example, the residence time of β- caryophyllene in the atmosphere is only 2 min in the presence of 60 ppb ozone. Thus, ozonolysis reaction of β-caryophyllene is expected to be a significant source of biogenic secondary organic aerosols. These oxidized products may condense onto soot particles, and a question arises as to how they will partition between the soot surface, vapor phase, and aqueous aerosol phases. Liquid chromatography- mass spectrometry (LC/MS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and UVVis spectroscopies are being used to study the β- caryophyllene-dark ozonolysis reaction at low ozone levels (40-60 ppb). Products identified include low molecular weight highly volatile and water soluble products such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, and acetic acid. Also identified are high molecular weight components (~350 Dalton) with lower water solubility and vapor pressures. The SOA coatings of these SQTs on soot are being evaluated to determine their hygroscopicity. As these compounds absorb in the IR and UV-Vis they can add to radiative forcing by submicron aerosols and need to be better understood for climate modeling.
Sarkar, A.; Marley, N. A.; and Gaffney, J. S.
"Characterization of Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOA) formed by the Reaction of β-caryophyllene, Soot and Ozone: Climate Impact,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 64
, Article 23.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol64/iss1/23