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Published June 1, 2005 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Representation of Secondary Organic Aerosol Laboratory Chamber Data for the Interpretation of Mechanisms of Particle Growth


Absorptive models of gas-particle partitioning have been shown to be successful in describing the formation and growth of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Here the expression for particle growth derived by Odum et al. (Odum, J. R.; Hoffmann, T.; Bowman, F.; Collins, D.; Flagan, R. C.; Seinfeld, J. H. Gas/particle partitioning and secondary organic aerosol yields. Environ. Sci. Technol. 1996, 30, 2580−2585) is extended to facilitate interpretation of SOA growth data measured in the laboratory in terms of the underlying chemistry, even when details of the reactions are not well-constrained. A simple (one-component) expression for aerosol growth (ΔM) as a function of the amount of hydrocarbon reacted (ΔHC) is derived, and the effects of changes to three key parameters, stoichiometric yield of condensable species, gas-particle partitioning coefficient, and concentration of preexisting aerosol, are discussed. Two sets of laboratory chamber data on SOA growth are examined in this context:  the ozonolysis of α-pinene and the OH-initiated photooxidation of aromatic compounds. Even though these two systems have a number of significant differences, both are described well within this framework. From the shapes of the ΔM versus ΔHC curves in each case, the importance of poorly constrained chemistry such as heterogeneous reactions and gas-phase reactions of oxidation products is examined.

Additional Information

© 2005 American Chemical Society. Received for review November 1, 2004. Revised manuscript received March 17, 2005. Accepted March 25, 2005. Publication Date (Web): May 4, 2005. This research was funded by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program grant no. RD-83107501-0, managed by EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), and by U.S. Department of Energy Biological and Environmental Research Program DE-FG03-01ER63099. We are grateful to Nga L. Ng for helpful discussions.

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