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Alkylperoxy radicals are responsible for the formation of oxygenated primary organic aerosol

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Science Advances
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Organic aerosol (OA) is an air pollutant ubiquitous in urban atmospheres. Urban OA is usually apportioned into primary OA (POA), mostly emitted by mobile sources, and secondary OA (SOA), which forms in the atmosphere due to oxidation of gas-phase precursors from anthropogenic and biogenic sources. By performing coordinated measurements in the particle phase and the gas phase, we show that the alkylperoxy radical chemistry that is responsible for low-temperature ignition also leads to the formation of oxygenated POA (OxyPOA). OxyPOA is distinct from POA emitted during high-temperature ignition and is chemically similar to SOA. We present evidence for the prevalence of OxyPOA in emissions of a spark-ignition engine and a next-generation advanced compression-ignition engine, highlighting the importance of understanding OxyPOA for predicting urban air pollution patterns in current and future atmospheres.