Radical formation by fine particulate matter associated with highly oxygenated molecules

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Haijie Tong
  • Yun Zhang
  • Alexander Filippi
  • Ting Wang
  • Chenpei Li
  • Fobang Liu
  • Denis Leppla
  • Ivan Kourtchev
  • Kai Wang
  • Helmi-Marja Keskinen
  • Janne T. Levula
  • Andrea M. Arangio
  • Fangxia Shen
  • Florian Ditas
  • Scot T Martin
  • P. Artaxo
  • Ricardo H. M. Godoi
  • Carlos. I Yamamoto
  • Rodrigo A. F. de Souza
  • Ru-Jin Huang
  • T. Berkemeier
  • Yueshe Wang
  • Su Hang
  • Yafang Cheng
  • Pingqing Fu
  • Maosheng Yao
  • Christopher Pohlker
  • Tuukka Petaja
  • Markku Kulmala
  • M. Andreae
  • M. Shiraiwa
  • Ulrich Poschl
  • Thorsten Hoffmann
  • Kalberer Markus

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Johannes Gutenberg Univ Mainz
  • Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Hahn-Meitner Weg 1, Mainz
  • State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power Engineering
  • School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Institute of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences / Physics, Faculty of Science, P.O. Box 64, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • School of Space and Environment, Beihang University, Beijing, 100191, China
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
  • Environmental Engineering Department, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Parana, 81531-980, Brazil
  • Chemical Engineering Department, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Parana, 81531-970, Brazil
  • School of Technology, Amazonas State University, Manaus, Amazonas, 69065-020, Brazil
  • Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, 710061, China
  • Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP
  • College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 10087, China
  • University of Cambridge
  • Institute of Atmospheric Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Tianjin University
  • Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00560, Finland
  • University of Helsinki


Highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs) play an important role in the formation and evolution of secondary organic aerosols (SOA). However, the abundance of HOMs in different environments and their relation to the oxidative potential of fine particulate matter (PM) are largely unknown. Here, we investigated the relative HOM abundance and radical yield of laboratory-generated SOA and fine PM in ambient air ranging from remote forest areas to highly polluted megacities. By electron paramagnetic resonance and mass spectrometric investigations, we found that the relative abundance of HOMs, especially the dimeric and low-volatility types, in ambient fine PM was positively correlated with the formation of radicals in aqueous PM extracts. SOA from photooxidation of isoprene, ozonolysis of α- and β-pinene, and fine PM from tropical (central Amazon) and boreal (Hyytiälä, Finland) forests exhibited a higher HOM abundance and radical yield than SOA from photooxidation of naphthalene and fine PM from urban sites (Beijing, Guangzhou, Mainz, Shanghai, and Xi'an), confirming that HOMs are important constituents of biogenic SOA to generate radicals. Our study provides new insights into the chemical relationship of HOM abundance, composition, and sources with the yield of radicals by laboratory and ambient aerosols, enabling better quantification of the component-specific contribution of source- or site-specific fine PM to its climate and health effects.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12506-12518
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number21
Early online date19 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2019

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