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Published December 1987 | public
Journal Article

Aerosol formation and growth in atmospheric aromatic hydrocarbon photooxidation


An experimental study of aerosol formation in aromatic hydrocarbon/NO_x systems has been conducted in an outdoor smog chamber. Aerosol size distributions were measured as a function of time in toluene, m-xylene, ethylbenzene, or 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene photooxidations to determine the rates of new particle formation and the effects of initial particles on aerosol formation and growth. Aerosol yields from the aromatic gas-phase photooxidations were found to be approximately 2-5% by mass of the starting aromatic species. Simulations of the aerosol behavior in these experiments have been carried out using an integral model that includes a vapor source, homogeneous nucleation, condensational growth, and particle loss by deposition. Predictions from the model are in relatively good agreement with the experimental observations. Results indicate that the nucleation mechanism in these systems is still not completely understood.

Additional Information

© 1987 American Chemical Society. Received for review March 6, 1987. Revised manuscript received August 7, 1987. Accepted September 8, 1987. This work was supported by the Coordinating Research Council, Project AP-6. We acknowledge the help of Dale Warren and Toby Petti in conducting the smog chamber experiments.

Additional details

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