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Dataset associated with "Process-Level Modeling Can Simultaneously Explain Secondary Organic Aerosol Evolution in Chambers and Flow Reactors"
Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) data gathered in environmental chambers (ECs) have been used extensively to develop parameters to represent SOA formation and evolution. The EC-based parameters are usually constrained to less than one day of photochemical aging, but extrapolated to predict SOA aging over much longer timescales in atmospheric models. Recently, SOA has been increasingly studied in oxidation flow reactors (OFRs) over aging timescales of one to multiple days. However, these OFR data have been rarely used to validate or update the EC-based parameters. The simultaneous use of EC and OFR data is challenging because the processes relevant to SOA formation and evolution proceed over very different timescales and both reactor types exhibit distinct experimental artifacts. In this work, we show that a kinetic SOA chemistry and microphysics model that accounts for various processes, including wall losses, aerosol phase state, heterogeneous oxidation, oligomerization and new particle formation, can simultaneously explain SOA evolution in EC and OFR experiments, using a single consistent set of SOA parameters. With α-pinene as an example, we first developed parameters by fitting the model output to the measured SOA mass concentration and oxygen-to-carbon (O:C) ratio from an EC experiment (<1 day of aging). We then used these parameters to simulate SOA formation in OFR experiments and found that the model overestimated SOA formation (by a factor of 3 to 16) over photochemical ages ranging from 0.4 to 13 days, when excluding the above-mentioned processes. By comprehensively accounting for these processes, the model was able to explain the observed evolution in SOA mass, composition (i.e., O:C), and size distribution in the OFR experiments. This work suggests that EC and OFR SOA data can be modeled consistently and a synergistic use of EC and OFR data can aid in developing more refined SOA parameters for use in atmospheric models.
Data for the figures.
Secondary Organic Aerosol