Wall effects in smog chamber experiments: A model study

<p>Wall losses of condensable organic vapors are a significant complication for smog-chamber experiments designed to constrain production of Secondary Organic Aerosols (SOA). Here we develop a dynamical mass-balance model based on the Volatility Basis Set (VBS) to explore various pathways for mass transfer between the bulk of a smog-chamber volume (the vapors and suspended particles) and reservoirs near the chamber walls (deposited and/or nucleated particles on the walls, adsorption to the walls, and sorption into Teflon walls). We consider various limiting cases and explore the sensitivity of inferred SOA yields to assumptions about the actual parameters in a given SOA experiment. We also present data suggesting that adsorptive uptake to Teflon for typical SOA is modest. Broadly, we find that walls become a sink for condensable vapors when those vapors interact with either deposited particles of the Teflon walls, with qualitatively similar effects on the suspended particles. Finally, we show that having a relatively high seed condensation sink is vital to reliable chamber mass balances.</p> <p>Copyright © 2016 American Association for Aerosol Research</p>