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Comparison of Measurement-Based Methodologies to Apportion Secondary Organic Carbon (SOC) in PM2.5 : A Review of Recent Studies

Abstract : Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is known to account for a major fraction of airborne particulate matter, with significant impacts on air quality and climate at the global scale. Despite the substantial amount of research studies achieved during these last decades, the source apportionment of the SOA fraction remains difficult due to the complexity of the physicochemical processes involved. The selection and use of appropriate approaches are a major challenge for the atmospheric science community. Several methodologies are nowadays available to perform quantitative and/or predictive assessments of the SOA amount and composition. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the most commonly used approaches to evaluate secondary organic carbon (SOC) contents: elemental carbon (EC) tracer method, chemical mass balance (CMB), SOA tracer method, radiocarbon (14C) measurement and positive matrix factorization (PMF). The principles, limitations, challenges and good practices of each of these methodologies are discussed in the present article. Based on a comprehensive—although not exhaustive—review of research papers published during the last decade (2006–2016), SOC estimates obtained using these methodologies are also summarized for different regions across the world. Conclusions of some studies which are directly comparing the performances of different methodologies are then specifically discussed. An overall picture of SOC contributions and concentrations obtained worldwide for urban sites under similar conditions (i.e., geographical and seasonal ones) is also proposed here. Finally, further needs to improve SOC apportionment methodologies are also identified and discussed.
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Deepchandra Srivastava, Olivier Favez, Emilie Perraudin, Eric Villenave, Alexandre Albinet. Comparison of Measurement-Based Methodologies to Apportion Secondary Organic Carbon (SOC) in PM2.5 : A Review of Recent Studies. Atmosphere, 2018, 9 (11), pp.art. 452. ⟨10.3390/atmos9110452⟩. ⟨ineris-03319041⟩

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