Direct measurements of semi-volatile organic compound dynamics show near-unity mass accommodation coefficients for diverse aerosols
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Direct measurements of semi-volatile organic compound dynamics show near-unity mass accommodation coefficients for diverse aerosols
  • Published Date:

    2019

  • Source:
    Communications Chemistry volume 2, Article number: 98 (2019)
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  • Description:
    The partitioning of low- and semi-volatile organic compounds into and out of particles significantly influences secondary organic aerosol formation and evolution. Most atmospheric models treat partitioning as an equilibrium between gas and particle phases, despite few direct measurements and a large range of uncertain mass accommodation coefficients (α). Here we directly measure the dynamic, isothermal partitioning of specific organic compounds using mass spectrometry in a Teflon chamber. Measurements are conducted under dry and humid conditions using seeds of different properties that are atmospherically relevant. α values determined independently from gas- and particle-phase observations are consistent and average 0.88 ± 0.33 for all the studied seeds and probe gases. Our results also imply fast mixing, within ~200 s, between dry α-pinene/O3 SOA and the oxidized compounds. These results indicate that mass transfer limitations in the atmosphere may be less important than some recent studies suggest.
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