Organosulfates as tracers for secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO) in the atmosphere. Academic Article uri icon


  • 2-Methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO) is an important biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emitted by pine trees and a potential precursor of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol (SOA) in forested regions. In the present study, hydroxyl radical (OH)-initiated oxidation of MBO was examined in smog chambers under varied initial nitric oxide (NO) and aerosol acidity levels. Results indicate measurable SOA from MBO under low-NO conditions. Moreover, increasing aerosol acidity was found to enhance MBO SOA. Chemical characterization of laboratory-generated MBO SOA reveals that an organosulfate species (C(5)H(12)O(6)S, MW 200) formed and was substantially enhanced with elevated aerosol acidity. Ambient fine aerosol (PM(2.5)) samples collected from the BEARPEX campaign during 2007 and 2009, as well as from the BEACHON-RoMBAS campaign during 2011, were also analyzed. The MBO-derived organosulfate characterized from laboratory-generated aerosol was observed in PM(2.5) collected from these campaigns, demonstrating that it is a molecular tracer for MBO-initiated SOA in the atmosphere. Furthermore, mass concentrations of the MBO-derived organosulfate are well correlated with MBO mixing ratio, temperature, and acidity in the field campaigns. Importantly, this compound accounted for an average of 0.25% and as high as 1% of the total organic aerosol mass during BEARPEX 2009. An epoxide intermediate generated under low-NO conditions is tentatively proposed to produce MBO SOA.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, H., Worton, D. R., Lewandowski, M., Ortega, J., Rubitschun, C. L., Park, J., ... Surratt, J. D

citation count

  • 103

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Haofei||Worton, David R||Lewandowski, Michael||Ortega, John||Rubitschun, Caitlin L||Park, Jeong-Hoo||Kristensen, Kasper||Campuzano-Jost, Pedro||Day, Douglas A||Jimenez, Jose L||Jaoui, Mohammed||Offenberg, John H||Kleindienst, Tadeusz E||Gilman, Jessica||Kuster, William C||de Gouw, Joost||Park, Changhyoun||Schade, Gunnar W||Frossard, Amanda A||Russell, Lynn||Kaser, Lisa||Jud, Werner||Hansel, Armin||Cappellin, Luca||Karl, Thomas||Glasius, Marianne||Guenther, Alex||Goldstein, Allen H||Seinfeld, John H||Gold, Avram||Kamens, Richard M||Surratt, Jason D

publication date

  • September 2012