Modeling Secondary Organic Aerosols over Europe: Impact of Activity Coefficients and Viscosity
Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 2:03 PM
Semi-volatile organic species (SVOC) can condense on suspended particulate materials (PM) in the atmosphere. The modeling of condensation/evaporation of SVOC often assumes that gas-phase and particle-phase concentrations are at equilibrium. However, recent studies show that secondary organic aerosols (SOA) may not be accurately represented by an equilibrium approach between the gas and particle phases, because organic aerosols in the particle phase may be very viscous. The condensation in the viscous liquid phase is limited by the diffusion from the surface of PM to its core. Using a surrogate approach to represent SVOC, depending on the user’s choice, the secondary organic aerosol processor (SOAP) may assume equilibrium or model dynamically the condensation/evaporation between the gas and particle phases to take into account the viscosity of organic aerosols. The model is implemented in the three-dimensional chemistry-transport model of POLYPHEMUS. In SOAP, activity coefficients for organic mixtures can be computed using UNIFAC for short-range interactions between molecules and AIOMFAC to also take into account the effect of inorganic species on activity coefficients. Simulations over Europe are performed and POLYPHEMUS/SOAP is compared to POLYPHEMUS/H2O, which was previously used to model SOA using the equilibrium approach with activity coefficients from UNIFAC. Impacts of the dynamic approach on modeling SOA over Europe are evaluated. The concentrations of SOA using the dynamic approach are compared with those using the equilibrium approach. The increase of computational cost is also evaluated.