Articles | Volume 10, issue 2
25 Jan 2010
 | 25 Jan 2010

The critical assessment of vapour pressure estimation methods for use in modelling the formation of atmospheric organic aerosol

M. H. Barley and G. McFiggans

Abstract. A selection of models for estimating vapour pressures have been tested against experimental data for a set of compounds selected for their particular relevance to the formation of atmospheric aerosol by gas-liquid partitioning. The experimental vapour pressure data (all <100 Pa) of 45 multifunctional compounds provide a stringent test of the estimation techniques, with a recent complex group contribution method providing the best overall results. The effect of errors in vapour pressures upon the formation of organic aerosol by gas-liquid partitioning in an atmospherically relevant example is also investigated. The mass of organic aerosol formed under typical atmospheric conditions was found to be very sensitive to the variation in vapour pressure values typically present when comparing estimation methods.

Final-revised paper