Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Research article
23 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 23 Mar 2016

A new plant chamber facility, PLUS, coupled to the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR

T. Hohaus, U. Kuhn, S. Andres, M. Kaminski, F. Rohrer, R. Tillmann, A. Wahner, R. Wegener, Z. Yu, and A. Kiendler-Scharr

Abstract. A new PLant chamber Unit for Simulation (PLUS) for use with the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR (Simulation of Atmospheric PHotochemistry In a large Reaction Chamber) has been built and characterized at the Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany. The PLUS chamber is an environmentally controlled flow-through plant chamber. Inside PLUS the natural blend of biogenic emissions of trees is mixed with synthetic air and transferred to the SAPHIR chamber, where the atmospheric chemistry and the impact of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) can be studied in detail. In PLUS all important environmental parameters (e.g., temperature, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), soil relative humidity (RH)) are well controlled. The gas exchange volume of 9.32 m3 which encloses the stem and the leaves of the plants is constructed such that gases are exposed to only fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) Teflon film and other Teflon surfaces to minimize any potential losses of BVOCs in the chamber. Solar radiation is simulated using 15 light-emitting diode (LED) panels, which have an emission strength up to 800 µmol m−2 s−1. Results of the initial characterization experiments are presented in detail. Background concentrations, mixing inside the gas exchange volume, and transfer rate of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through PLUS under different humidity conditions are explored. Typical plant characteristics such as light- and temperature- dependent BVOC emissions are studied using six Quercus ilex trees and compared to previous studies. Results of an initial ozonolysis experiment of BVOC emissions from Quercus ilex at typical atmospheric concentrations inside SAPHIR are presented to demonstrate a typical experimental setup and the utility of the newly added plant chamber.

Short summary
As an extension of the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR, an environmentally-controlled dynamic (flow-through) plant chamber under SAPHIR (SAPHIR-PLUS) was developed. This facility allows for feeding a natural blend of biogenic trace gases into SAPHIR. PLUS is utilized to characterize the atmospheric chemistry of natural trace gas mixtures at close to ambient concentration levels. In this study, the results of the initial characterization experiments are presented in detail.