Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
05 May 2009
 | 05 May 2009

Sensitivities of the absorptive partitioning model of secondary organic aerosol formation to the inclusion of water

M. Barley, D. O. Topping, M. E. Jenkin, and G. McFiggans

Abstract. The predicted distribution of semi-volatile organic components between the gaseous and condensed phase as a function of ambient relative humidity and the specific form of the partitioning model used has been investigated. A mole fraction based model, modified so as not to use molar mass in the calculation, was found to predict identical RH dependence of component partitioning to that predicted by the conventional mass-based partitioning model which uses a molar mass averaged according to the number of moles in the condensed phase. A recently reported third version of the partitioning model using individual component molar masses was shown to give significantly different results to the other two models. Further sensitivities to an assumed pre-existing particulate loading and to parameterised organic component non-ideality are explored and shown to contribute significantly to the variation in predicted secondary organic particulate loading.

Final-revised paper