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Issue 27, 2013
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Gas–particle partitioning of atmospheric aerosols: interplay of physical state, non-ideal mixing and morphology

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Abstract

Atmospheric aerosols, comprising organic compounds and inorganic salts, play a key role in air quality and climate. Mounting evidence exists that these particles frequently exhibit phase separation into predominantly organic and aqueous electrolyte-rich phases. As well, the presence of amorphous semi-solid or glassy particle phases has been established. Using the canonical system of ammonium sulfate mixed with organics from the ozone oxidation of α-pinene, we illustrate theoretically the interplay of physical state, non-ideality, and particle morphology affecting aerosol mass concentration and the characteristic timescale of gas–particle mass transfer. Phase separation can significantly affect overall particle mass and chemical composition. Semi-solid or glassy phases can kinetically inhibit the partitioning of semivolatile components and hygroscopic growth, in contrast to the traditional assumption that organic compounds exist in quasi-instantaneous gas–particle equilibrium. These effects have significant implications for the interpretation of laboratory data and the development of improved atmospheric air quality and climate models.

Graphical abstract: Gas–particle partitioning of atmospheric aerosols: interplay of physical state, non-ideal mixing and morphology

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Article information


Submitted
14 Apr 2013
Accepted
29 May 2013
First published
29 May 2013

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 11441-11453
Article type
Paper

Gas–particle partitioning of atmospheric aerosols: interplay of physical state, non-ideal mixing and morphology

M. Shiraiwa, A. Zuend, A. K. Bertram and J. H. Seinfeld, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 11441
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51595H

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