Vapor Wall Deposition in Chambers: Theoretical Considerations
Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 2:18 PM
In order to constrain the effects of vapor wall deposition on measured secondary organic aerosol (SOA) yields in laboratory chambers, Zhang et al. (2014) varied the seed aerosol surface area in toluene oxidation and observed a clear increase in the SOA yield with increasing seed surface area. Using a coupled vapor-particle dynamics model, we examine the extent to which this increase is the result of vapor wall deposition versus kinetic limitations arising from imperfect accommodation of organic species into the particle phase. We show that a seed surface area dependence of the SOA yield is present only when condensation of vapors onto particles is kinetically limited. The existence of kinetic limitation can be predicted by comparing the characteristic timescales of gas-phase reaction, vapor wall deposition, and gas-particle equilibration. The gas-particle equilibration timescale depends on the gas-particle accommodation coefficient αp. Regardless of the extent of kinetic limitation, vapor wall deposition depresses the SOA yield from that in its absence since vapor molecules that might otherwise condense on particles deposit on the walls. To accurately extrapolate chamber-derived yields to atmospheric conditions, both vapor wall deposition and kinetic limitations must be taken into account.