Primary and secondary organic aerosols in Fresno, California during wintertime: Results from high resolution aerosol mass spectrometry



[1] Organic aerosols (OA) were studied in Fresno, California, in winter 2010 with an Aerodyne High Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS). OA dominated the submicron aerosol mass (average = 67%) with an average concentration of 7.9μg m−3 and a nominal formula of C1H1.59N0.014O0.27S0.00008, which corresponds to an average organic mass-to-carbon ratio of 1.50. Three primary OA (POA) factors and one oxygenated OA factor (OOA) representative of secondary OA (SOA) were identified via Positive Matrix Factorization of the high-resolution mass spectra. The three POA factors, which include a traffic-related hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA), a cooking OA (COA), and a biomass burning OA (BBOA) released from residential heating, accounted for an average 57% of the OA mass and up to 80% between 6 – 9 P.M., during which enhanced emissions from evening rush hour traffic, dinner cooking, and residential wood burning were exacerbated by low mixed layer height. The mass-based size distributions of the OA factors were estimated based on multilinear analysis of the size-resolved mass spectra of organics. Both HOA and BBOA peaked at ∼140 nm in vacuum aerodynamic diameter (Dva) while OOA peaked at an accumulation mode of ∼460 nm. COA exhibited a unique size distribution with two size modes centering at ∼200 nm and 450 nm respectively. This study highlights the leading roles played by anthropogenic POA emissions, primarily from traffic, cooking and residential heating, in aerosol pollution in Fresno in wintertime.