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Workshop Goals and Questions

The GOALS of the Secondary Organic Aerosols Workshop are to:

1)   summarize in non-technical terms existing knowledge of the extent to which chemical markers for secondary aerosol can be identified and measured at remote locations to determine their contributions to regional haze;

2)  identify knowledge gaps and ways to fill them; and

3)  specify projects, timelines, and approximate resources needed to demonstrate a source attribution of secondary organic aerosol at remote locations.

Discussion of each question will be formatted to answer each of the goal statements.


Question One  

Where and when does the IMPROVE data base show high OC/EC ratios that might indicate large contributions of secondary organic aerosol to light extinction?

Lead presenter: Bill Malm, National Parks Service


Question Two 

What organic particles should be included in the definition of secondary organic aerosol?  Condensation of hot exhaust?  Condensation of vapors on particles in the atmosphere?  Equilibrium changes for volatile particles?  Gas-phase transformations?   Aqueous-phase transformations?  Organic particle reactions with inorganic gases?

Lead presenter: Jim Pankow 


Question Three

 In non-technical terms, what are the chemical mechanisms that create secondary organic aerosols, what are their precursors, what are the environmental conditions needed to create and sustain particles, and what are the organic substances in the particles?

 Lead presenter:  Spyros Pandis


Question Four

Which gas and particle end-products can best distinguish secondary organic aerosol from primary organic particles at receptor locations?  How stable are these components and how consistent are their ratios to other components in the secondary organic aerosol source profile?

Lead presenter: Jamie Schauer


Question Five

What are the size, composition, and hygroscopic properties of secondary organic particles that are most likely to affect light extinction.  Which end-products and formation mechanisms are likely to cause the largest and smallest effects on regional haze?

Lead presenter: Lynn Hildemann, Stanford University


Question Six

What are the major sources of precursors for secondary organic aerosols?  What are the types of vegetation, vehicle exhaust, and burning and under what conditions? 

Lead presenter: Richard Kamens


Question Seven

What current sampling and measurement technologies are available to measure these marker components?  How can these be practically applied at remote locations in pristine environments?

Lead presenter: Barbara Zielinska, Desert Research Institute

Note: Only been able to quantify 10 20 percent. Secondary, because polar in nature and are not easily measured. Methods are primitive. Question is getting practicality, so how are we going to do this from remote areas. Artifacts questions is an additional problem. Light itself scatters much of the stuff in the atmosphere.


Question Eight

What efforts are needed to prove new technologies to implement measurements?

Plenary discussion (Tim Richard, lead): Everyone needs to participate in jotting down basic things we need to do and how to do them.


Question Nine

What are the essential elements of a pilot study to quantify the fraction or organic carbon that is of secondary organic origin and to determine the sources of its precursors?

Plenary discussion (John Watson, lead): What can we pursue in next few years? Everyone needs to participate in this.