The description of organic aerosol chemistry is a key uncertainty in current air quality and climate models. Air quality models are widely used for decision making on international, national and local scales and have a direct impact on future plans for infrastructure, traffic and energy systems. Climate models provide society with necessary tools for predictions of climate change on regional and global scales.
The aim of this project is to quantify, understand and provide tools to predict the human influences on biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. Aerosol particles are crucial components in any evaluation process regarding air quality and climate change. The SOA represents a significant fraction of the tropospheric aerosol. Still, the current level of understanding of SOA processes is remarkably low compared to other processes in aerosol science, i.e. modelled SOA based on experimental findings and existing theory do not capture the variability of observed SOA loadings and often predicts far less SOA than observed. It has been indicated that biogenic SOA can be largely affected by anthropogenic pollutants, i.e. NO2, SO2 or organic compounds e.g. aromatics and aldehydes. The effect of anthropogenic pollutants may explain the discrepancy between models and field observations.
The experiments will be conducted at our G-FROST infrastructure (appointed by ACCENT, a European network of excellence) and using data from other European infrastructures, e.g. SAPHIRE an up to 370 m3 smog chambers, designed for specific purposes regarding SOA studies (i.e. low temperature, real actinic fluxes and real plant VOC emissions). The experiments will be performed together with two European partners (Forschungszentrum Jülich and Århus University). The project is supported by FORMAS, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and VR.