Using a combined power law and log-normal distribution model to simulate particle formation and growth in a mobile aerosol chamber
Abstract. We present the combined power law and log-normal distribution (PL+LN) model, a computationally efficient model to be used in simulations where the particle size distribution cannot be accurately represented by log-normal distributions, such as in simulations involving the initial steps of aerosol formation, where new particle formation and growth occur simultaneously, or in the case of inverse modeling. The model was evaluated against highly accurate sectional models using input parameter values that reflect conditions typical to particle formation occurring in the atmosphere and in vehicle exhaust. The model was tested in the simulation of a particle formation event performed in a mobile aerosol chamber at Mäkelänkatu street canyon measurement site in Helsinki, Finland. The number, surface area, and mass concentrations in the chamber simulation were conserved with the relative errors lower than 2 % using the PL+LN model, whereas a moment-based log-normal model and sectional models with the same computing time as with the PL+LN model caused relative errors up to 17 and 79 %, respectively.