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Title: Predicting secondary organic aerosol phase state and viscosity and its effect on multiphase chemistry in a regional-scale air quality model
Abstract. Atmospheric aerosols are a significant public health hazard and havesubstantial impacts on the climate. Secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) havebeen shown to phase separate into a highly viscous organic outer layersurrounding an aqueous core. This phase separation can decrease thepartitioning of semi-volatile and low-volatile species to the organic phaseand alter the extent of acid-catalyzed reactions in the aqueous core. A newalgorithm that can determine SOA phase separation based on their glasstransition temperature (Tg), oxygen to carbon (O:C) ratio and organic massto sulfate ratio, and meteorological conditions was implemented into theCommunity Multiscale Air Quality Modeling (CMAQ) system version 5.2.1 andwas used to simulate the conditions in the continental United States for thesummer of 2013. SOA formed at the ground/surface level was predicted to bephase separated with core–shell morphology, i.e., aqueous inorganic coresurrounded by organic coating 65.4 % of the time during the 2013 SouthernOxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS) on average in the isoprene-rich southeasternUnited States. Our estimate is in proximity to the previously reported∼70 % in literature. The phase states of organic coatingsswitched between semi-solid and liquid states, depending on theenvironmental conditions. The semi-solid shell occurring with lower aerosolliquid water content (western United States and at higher altitudes) has aviscosity that was predicted to be 102–1012 Pa s, whichresulted in organic mass being decreased due to diffusion limitation.Organic aerosol was primarily liquid where aerosol liquid water was dominant(eastern United States and at the surface), with a viscosity <102 Pa s.Phase separation while in a liquid phase state, i.e.,liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS), also reduces reactive uptake ratesrelative to homogeneous internally mixed liquid morphology but was lowerthan aerosols with a thick viscous organic shell. The sensitivity casesperformed with different phase-separation parameterization and dissolutionrate of isoprene epoxydiol (IEPOX) into the particle phase in CMAQ can havevarying impact on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) organic mass, interms of bias and error compared to field data collected during the 2013 SOAS.This highlights the need to better constrain the parameters thatgovern phase state and morphology of SOA, as well as expand mechanisticrepresentation of multiphase chemistry for non-IEPOX SOA formation in modelsaided by novel experimental insights.  more » « less
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Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
8201 to 8225
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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