Formation of Semi-Solid, Oligomerized Aqueous SOA: Cloud and Aerosol Lab Simulations

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Glyoxal, methylglyoxal, glycolaldehyde, and hydroxyacetone form N-containing and oligomeric compounds during simulated cloud processing with small amines. Using a novel hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analysis (HTDMA) system that allows varied humidification times, the hygroscopic growth (HG) of each of the resulting products of simulated cloud processing was measured. Continuous water uptake (gradual deliquescence) was observed beginning at ∼40% RH for all aldehyde-methylamine products. Particles containing ionic reaction products of either glyoxal or glycine were most hygroscopic, with HG between 1.16 and 1.20 at 80% RH. Longer humidification times (up to 20 min) produced an increase in growth factors for glyoxal-methylamine (19% by vol) and methylglyoxal-methylamine (8% by vol) aerosol, indicating that unusually long equilibration times can be required for HTDMA measurements of such particles. Glyoxal- and methylglyoxal-methylamine aerosol particles shattered in Raman microscopy impact-flow experiments, revealing that the particles were semisolid. Similar experiments on glycolaldehyde- and hydroxyacetone-methylamine aerosol found that the aerosol particles were liquid when dried forh, but semisolid when dried for 20 h under ambient conditions. The RH required for flow (liquification) during humidification experiments followed the order methylglyoxal > glyoxal > glycolaldehyde = hydroxyacetone, likely caused by the speed of oligomer formation in each system.