No evidence for acid-catalyzed secondary organic aerosol formation in power plant plumes over metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia

R. E. Peltier, A. P. Sullivan, R. J. Weber, A. G. Wollny, J. S. Holloway, C. A. Brock, J. A. de Gouw, Elliot L Atlas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Aircraft-based measurements of the water-soluble fraction of fine PM organic carbon (WSOC) and inorganic salt composition in the Atlanta, GA region were conducted in the summer of 2004. Five notable plumes of SO2, apparently from coal-fired power plants, were intercepted, and had NH4+/SO42- molar ratios ranging from approximately 0.8 to 1.4 compared to molar ratios near 2 outside of the plumes. Sulfate aerosol concentrations increased from a regional background of 5-8 μg m-3 to as high as 19.5 μg m-3 within these plumes. No increase in WSOC concentrations was observed in plumes compared to out-of-plumes within a WSOC measurement uncertainty of 8%. These measurements suggest that secondary organic aerosol formation via heterogeneous acid-catalyzed reactions within power plant plumes are not likely a significant contributor to the ambient aerosol mass loading in Atlanta and the surrounding region. Because this region is rich in both biogenic and anthropogenic volatile organic carbon (VOC), the results may be widely applicable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL06801
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2007

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Atlanta (GA)
aerosol formation
power plants
plumes
aerosols
power plant
plume
acids
acid
organic carbon
aerosol
inorganic salt
carbon
coal-fired power plant
coal
aircraft
summer
sulfates
sulfate
salts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

No evidence for acid-catalyzed secondary organic aerosol formation in power plant plumes over metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. / Peltier, R. E.; Sullivan, A. P.; Weber, R. J.; Wollny, A. G.; Holloway, J. S.; Brock, C. A.; de Gouw, J. A.; Atlas, Elliot L.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, No. 6, L06801, 28.03.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peltier, R. E. ; Sullivan, A. P. ; Weber, R. J. ; Wollny, A. G. ; Holloway, J. S. ; Brock, C. A. ; de Gouw, J. A. ; Atlas, Elliot L. / No evidence for acid-catalyzed secondary organic aerosol formation in power plant plumes over metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2007 ; Vol. 34, No. 6.
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