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Published February 1986 | public
Journal Article

Simulation of Aerosol Dynamics: A Comparative Review of Mathematical Models


A comparative review of mathematical models of aerosol dynamics is presented. Three approaches are considered that are based on continuous, discrete (sectional), and parametrized (lognormal) representations of the aerosol size distribution. Simulations of coagulation and diffusion-limited condensation are performed with these modeling approaches for three case studies typical of clear, hazy, and urban atmospheric aerosol concentrations. The relative accuracies and computational costs of models based on these approaches are compared. The models based on a continuous size distribution provide an accurate solution for both coagulation and condensation. Sectional approaches simulate coagulation very well but require a fine size resolution to minimize numerical diffusion in the simulation of condensation. The parametrized model based on log-normal modal size distributions is computationally efficient but tends to overestimate the rate of coagulation and the peak aerosol concentration resulting from condensational growth. The results of this study provide useful information for the selection of an aerosol model, depending on the accuracy requirements and computational constraints associated with a specific application.

Additional Information

© 1986 Informa. We thank Dr. Peter H. McMurry, University of Minnesota, Dr. Tate Tsang, University of Kentucky, Dr. K. Yom, University of Texas, and Mr. Dale Warren, California Institute of Technology, for helpful discussions during the course of this study. We would also like to thank Ms. Judy A. Rodich for her editorial effort. The models described are available with user's manuals from their authors, from the project officer, Dr. H. M. Barnes, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or from Dr. A. Belle Hudischewskyj at Systems Applications, Inc. Although the research described in this article was funded wholly the the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency through Contract No. 68-02-4076, it does not necessarily reflect the views of the agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Additional details

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