Role of sesquiterpenes in biogenic new particle formation

Lubna Dada, Dominik Stolzenburg, Mario Simon, Lukas Fischer, Martin Heinritzi, Mingyi Wang, Mao Xiao, Alexander L. Vogel, Lauri Ahonen, Antonio Amorim, Rima Baalbaki, Andrea Baccarini, Urs Baltensperger, Federico Bianchi, Kaspar R. Daellenbach, Jenna DeVivo, Antonio Dias, Josef Dommen, Jonathan Duplissy, Henning FinkenzellerArmin Hansel, Xu Cheng He, Victoria Hofbauer, Christopher R. Hoyle, Juha Kangasluoma, Changhyuk Kim, Andreas Kürten, Aleksander Kvashnin, Roy Mauldin, Vladimir Makhmutov, Ruby Marten, Bernhard Mentler, Wei Nie, Tuukka Petäjä, Lauriane L.J. Quéléver, Harald Saathoff, Christian Tauber, Antonio Tome, Ugo Molteni, Rainer Volkamer, Robert Wagner, Andrea C. Wagner, Daniela Wimmer, Paul M. Winkler, Chao Yan, Qiaozhi Zha, Matti Rissanen, Hamish Gordon, Joachim Curtius, Douglas R. Worsnop, Katrianne Lehtipalo, Neil M. Donahue, Jasper Kirkby, Imad El Haddad, Markku Kulmala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Biogenic vapors form new particles in the atmosphere, affecting global climate. The contributions of monoterpenes and isoprene to new particle formation (NPF) have been extensively studied. However, sesquiterpenes have received little attention despite a potentially important role due to their high molecular weight. Via chamber experiments performed under atmospheric conditions, we report biogenic NPF resulting from the oxidation of pure mixtures of β-caryophyllene, α-pinene, and isoprene, which produces oxygenated compounds over a wide range of volatilities. We find that a class of vapors termed ultralow-volatility organic compounds (ULVOCs) are highly efficient nucleators and quantitatively determine NPF efficiency. When compared with a mixture of isoprene and monoterpene alone, adding only 2% sesquiterpene increases the ULVOC yield and doubles the formation rate. Thus, sesquiterpene emissions need to be included in assessments of global aerosol concentrations in pristine climates where biogenic NPF is expected to be a major source of cloud condensation nuclei.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Advances
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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