06 Jan 2023
06 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Estimation of secondary organic aerosol formation parameters for the Volatility Basis Set combining thermodenuder, isothermal dilution and yield measurements

Petro Uruci1,2, Dontavious Sippial3, Anthoula Drosatou1,2, and Spyros Pandis1,2 Petro Uruci et al.
  • 1Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (FORTH/ICE-HT), 26504, Patras, Greece
  • 2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, 26500, Patras, Greece
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA

Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a major fraction of the total organic aerosol (OA) in the atmosphere. SOA is formed by the partitioning onto pre-existent particles of low vapor pressure products of the oxidation of volatile, intermediate volatility, and semivolatile organic compounds. Oxidation of the precursor molecules results in a myriad of organic products making the detailed analysis of smog chamber experiments difficult and the incorporation of the corresponding results into chemical transport models (CTMs) challenging. The volatility basis set (VBS) is a framework that has been designed to help bridge the gap between laboratory measurements and CTMs. The parametrization of SOA formation for the VBS has been traditionally based on fitting yield measurements of smog chamber experiments. To reduce the uncertainty of this approach we developed an algorithm to estimate the SOA product volatility distribution, effective vaporization enthalpy, and effective accommodation coefficient combining SOA yield measurements with thermograms (from thermodenuders) and areograms (from isothermal dilution chambers) from different experiments and laboratories. The algorithm is evaluated with “pseudo-data” produced from the simulation of the corresponding processes assuming SOA with known properties and introducing experimental error. One of the novel features of our approach is that the proposed algorithm estimates the uncertainty of the predicted yields for different atmospheric conditions (temperature, SOA concentration levels, etc.). The predicted yield uncertainty is significantly less than that of the estimated volatility distributions for all conditions tested.

Petro Uruci et al.

Status: open (until 02 Mar 2023)

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Petro Uruci et al.

Petro Uruci et al.


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Short summary
In this work we develop an algorithm for the synthesis of the measurements performed in atmospheric simulation chambers regarding the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Novel features of the algorithm are its ability to use measurements of SOA yields, thermodenuders and isothermal dilution, its estimation of parameters that can be used directly in atmospheric chemical transport models and finally its estimates of the uncertainty of SOA formation yields.