Closing the ultrafine particle number concentration budget at road-to-ambient scale: Implications for particle dynamics

2016-04-12T00:52:49Z (GMT) by Wonsik Choi Suzanne E. Paulson
<p>Freshly emitted vehicle exhaust particles are diluted quickly as they mix into ambient air, but the contribution of evaporation, coagulation, and/or nucleation of new particles to the number concentration has been the subject of some debate. We analyzed one-second time resolution size distribution data from an early morning field campaign, data collected at a time at which dilution has a smaller (but still dominant; ∼70−80%) impact on particle concentrations. Because the plume is diluted over an hour, and a distance of 1500 m, we can constrain the processes with higher accuracy. We find that concentrations in the smaller size bins (5.6–23.7 nm) peak further downwind than the reference particles (42.1–562 nm), and decay significantly faster than larger particles particularly in the area 100−400 m downwind. Comparisons of the cumulative contributions of van der Waals enhanced coagulation, dry deposition, and dilution and the observed decay curves, imply that for up to the first 50–100 m there is nucleation and/or growth of particles smaller than 5.6 nm. In contrast, in the ∼100–400 m region, some of the smaller particles evaporate. In the further downwind areas (>400 m) the particles all appear to decay at rates consistent with the sum of dilution, coagulation, and deposition. We also find that a dry deposition parameterization at the low end of those available in the literature is most consistent with the observational data.</p> <p>© 2016 American Association for Aerosol Research</p>