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Estimated Effects of Temperature on Secondary Organic Aerosol Concentrations

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journal contribution
posted on 19.04.2001, 00:00 by Paul E. Sheehan, Frank M. Bowman
The temperature-dependence of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) concentrations is explored using an absorptive-partitioning model under a variety of simplified atmospheric conditions. Experimentally determined partitioning parameters for high yield aromatics are used. Variation of vapor pressures with temperature is assumed to be the main source of temperature effects. Known semivolatile products are used to define a modeling range of vaporization enthalpy of 10−25 kcal/mol-1. The effect of diurnal temperature variations on model predictions for various assumed vaporization enthalpies, precursor emission rates, and primary organic concentrations is explored. Results show that temperature is likely to have a significant influence on SOA partitioning and resulting SOA concentrations. A 10 °C decrease in temperature is estimated to increase SOA yields by 20−150%, depending on the assumed vaporization enthalpy. In model simulations, high daytime temperatures tend to reduce SOA concentrations by 16−24%, while cooler nighttime temperatures lead to a 22−34% increase, compared to constant temperature conditions. Results suggest that currently available constant temperature partitioning coefficients do not adequately represent atmospheric SOA partitioning behavior. Air quality models neglecting the temperature dependence of partitioning are expected to underpredict peak SOA concentrations as well as mistime their occurrence.