Vapors Are Lost to Walls, Not to Particles on the Wall: ArtifactCorrected...

Bilsback, K. R., Y. He, C. D. Cappa, R. Y. Chang, B. Croft, R. Martin, N. L. Ng, J. H. Seinfeld, J. Pierce, and S. H. Jathar (2023), Vapors Are Lost to Walls, Not to Particles on the Wall: ArtifactCorrected Parameters from Chamber Experiments and Implications for Global Secondary Organic Aerosol, Environ. Sci. Technol., 57, 53-63, doi:10.1021/acs.est.2c03967.

Atmospheric models of secondary organic aerosol (OA) (SOA) typically rely on parameters derived from environmental chambers. Chambers are subject to experimental artifacts, including losses of (1) particles to the walls (PWL), (2) vapors to the particles on the wall (V2PWL), and (3) vapors to the wall directly (VWL). We present a method for deriving artifactcorrected SOA parameters and translating these to volatility basis set (VBS) parameters for use in chemical transport models (CTMs). Our process involves combining a box model that accounts for chamber artifacts (Statistical Oxidation Model with a TwO-Moment Aerosol Sectional model (SOM-TOMAS)) with a pseudo-atmospheric simulation to develop VBS parameters that are fit across a range of OA mass concentrations. We found that VWL led to the highest percentage change in chamber SOA mass yields (high NOx: 36−680%; low NOx: 55−250%), followed by PWL (high NOx: 8−39%; low NOx: 10−37%), while the effects of V2PWL are negligible. In contrast to earlier work that assumed that V2PWL was a meaningful loss pathway, we show that V2PWL is an unimportant SOA loss pathway and can be ignored when analyzing chamber data. Using our updated VBS parameters, we found that not accounting for VWL may lead surface-level OA to be underestimated by 24% (0.25 μg m−3) as a global average or up to 130% (9.0 μg m−3) in regions of high biogenic or anthropogenic activity. Finally, we found that accurately accounting for PWL and VWL improves model-measurement agreement for fine mode aerosol mass concentrations (PM2.5) in the GEOS-Chem model.

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Atmospheric Composition
Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)