TitleInsights into the molecular level composition, sources, and formation mechanisms of dissolved organic matter in aerolsols and precipitation
NameAltieri, Katye Elisabeth (author), Seitzinger, Sybil (chair), Turpin, Barbara (internal member), Falkowski, Paul (internal member), Reinfelder, John (internal member), Jickells, Tim (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionAtmospheric aerosols scatter and absorb light influencing the global radiation budget and climate, and are associated with adverse effects on human health. Precipitation is an important removal mechanism for atmospheric dissolved organic matter (DOM), and a potentially important input for receiving ecosystems. However, the sources, formation, and composition of atmospheric DOM in aerosols and precipitation are not well understood. This dissertation investigates the composition and formation mechanisms of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formed through cloud processing reactions, elucidates the composition and sources of DOM in rainwater, and provides links connecting the two.
Photochemical batch aqueous-phase reactions of organics with both biogenic and anthropogenic sources (i.e., methylglyoxal, pyruvic acid) and OH radical were performed to simulate cloud processing. The composition of products formed through cloud processing experiments and rainwater collected in New Jersey, USA was investigated using a combination of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry techniques, including ultra-high resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.
This dissertation has resulted in the first evidence that oligomers form through cloud processing reactions, the first detailed chemical mechanism of aqueous phase oligomerization, the first identification of oligomers, organosulfates, and nitrooxy organosulfates in precipitation, and the first molecular level chemical characterization of organic nitrogen in precipitation. The formation of oligomers in SOA helps to explain the presence of large multifunctional compounds and humic like substances (HULIS) that dominate particulate organic mass. Oligomers have low vapor pressures and remain in the particle phase after cloud evaporation, enhancing SOA. The chemical properties of the oligomers suggest that they are less hygroscopic than the monomeric reaction products (i.e., organic acids). Their elemental ratios are consistent with the hypothesis that oligomers are a large contributor to aged organic aerosol mass. The majority of the compounds identified in rainwater samples by advanced mass spectrometry appear to be products of atmospheric reactions, including known contributors to SOA formed from gas phase, aerosol phase, and in-cloud reactions in the atmosphere. The similarities between the complex organic matter in rainwater and SOA suggest that the large uncharacterized component of SOA is the main contributor to the large uncharacterized component of rainwater DOM.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 116-133)
Noteby Katye Elisabeth Altieri
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.