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Identification of Polymers as Major Components of Atmospheric Organic Aerosols

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Science  12 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5664, pp. 1659-1662
DOI: 10.1126/science.1092185

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Abstract

Results from photooxidation of aromatic compounds in a reaction chamber show that a substantial fraction of the organic aerosol mass is composed of polymers. This polymerization results from reactions of carbonyls and their hydrates. After aging for more than 20 hours, about 50% of the particle mass consists of polymers with a molecular mass up to 1000 daltons. This results in a lower volatility of this secondary organic aerosol and a higher aerosol yield than a model using vapor pressures of individual organic species would predict.

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