Oxalic acid in clear and cloudy atmospheres: Analysis of data from International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation 2004

Armin Sorooshian, Varuntida Varutbangkul, Fred J. Brechtel, Barbara Ervens, Graham Feingold, Roya Bahreini, Shane M. Murphy, John S. Holloway, Eliot L. Atlas, Gintas Buzorius, Haflidi Jonsson, Richard C. Flagan, John H. Seinfeld

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Abstract

Oxalic acid is often the leading contributor to the total dicarboxylic acid mass in ambient organic aerosol particles. During the 2004 International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation (ICARTT) field campaign, nine inorganic ions (including SO42-) and five organic acid ions (including oxalate) were measured on board the Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) Twin Otter research aircraft by a particle-into-liquid sampler (PILS) during flights over Ohio and surrounding areas. Five local atmospheric conditions were studied: (1) cloud-free air, (2) power plant plume in cloud-free air with precipitation from scattered clouds overhead, (3) power plant plume in cloud-free air, (4) power plant plume in cloud, and (5) clouds uninfluenced by local pollution sources. The aircraft sampled from two inlets: a counterflow virtual impactor (CVI) to isolate droplet residuals in clouds and a second inlet for sampling total aerosol. A strong correlation was observed between oxalate and SO4 2- when sampling through both inlets in clouds. Predictions from a chemical cloud parcel model considering the aqueous-phase production of dicarboxylic acids and SO4 2- show good agreement for the relative magnitude of SO42- and oxalate growth for two scenarios: power plant plume in clouds and clouds uninfluenced by local pollution sources. The relative contributions of the two aqueous-phase routes responsible for oxalic acid formation were examined; the oxidation of glyoxylic acid was predicted to dominate over the decay of longer-chain dicarboxylic acids. Clear evidence is presented for aqueous-phase oxalic acid production as the primary mechanism for oxalic acid formation in ambient aerosols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD23S45
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume111
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2006
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography

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