Volatility-resolved source apportionment of primary and secondary organic aerosol over Europe

Ksakousti Skyllakou, Christos Fountoukis, Panagiotis Charalampidis, Spyros N. Pandis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


A three-dimensional regional chemical transport model (Particulate Matter Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions, PMCAMx) was applied over Europe combined with a source apportionment algorithm, the Particulate Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT), in order to quantify the sources which contribute to the primary and secondary organic aerosol (OA) during different seasons. The PSAT algorithm was first extended to allow the quantification of the sources of OA as a function of volatility. The most significant OA sources during May were biogenic, while during February residential wood combustion and during September wildfires dominated. The contributions of the various sources have strong spatial dependence. Wildfires were significant OA sources (38% of the OA) for Russia during September, but had a much lower impact (5%) in Scandinavia. The above results are in general consistent with the findings of the CARBOSOL project for selected sites in Europe. For remote sites such as Finokalia in Crete, more than 90% of the OA has undergone two or more generations of oxidation for all seasons. This highly processed oxidized OA is predicted to also dominate over much of Europe during the summer and fall. The first generation SOA is predicted to represent 20–30% of the OA in central and northern Europe during these photochemically active periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017



  • PSAT
  • Reaction generations
  • Source apportionment
  • Volatility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this