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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1132
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1132
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 06 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Predictions of the glass transition temperature and viscosity of organic aerosols by volatility distributions

Ying Li1, Douglas A. Day2,3, Harald Stark2,3,4, Jose Jimenez2,3, and Manabu Shiraiwa1 Ying Li et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2025, USA
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
  • 3Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
  • 4Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts 01821, USA

Abstract. Volatility and viscosity are important properties of organic aerosols (OA), affecting aerosol processes such as formation, evolution and partitioning of OA. Volatility distributions of ambient OA particles have often been measured, while viscosity measurements are scarce. We have previously developed a method to estimate glass transition temperature (Tg) of an organic compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Based on analysis of over 2300 organic compounds including oxygenated organic compounds as well as nitrogen- and sulfur-containing organic compounds, we extend this method to include nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds based on elemental composition. In addition, parameterizations are developed to predict Tg as a function of volatility and the atomic oxygen-to-carbon ratio based on a negative correlation between Tg and volatility. The prediction method of Tg and viscosity is applied to ambient observations of volatility distributions at eleven field sites. The predicted Tg varies mainly from 290 K to 339 K and the predicted viscosities are consistent with the results of ambient particle phase state measurements in the southeastern US and the Amazonian rain forest. Reducing the uncertainties in measured volatility distributions would be helpful to improve predictions of viscosity especially at low relative humidity. We also predict the Tg of OA components identified via positive matrix factorization of aerosol mass spectrometer data. The predicted viscosity of oxidized OA is consistent with previously reported viscosity of SOA derived from α-pinene, toluene, isoprene epoxydiol (IEPOX), and of diesel fuel. Comparison of the predicted viscosity based on the observed volatility distributions with the viscosity simulated by a chemical transport model implies that missing low volatility compounds in a global model can lead to underestimation of OA viscosity at some sites. The relation between volatility and viscosity can be applied in the molecular corridor or volatility basis set approaches to improve OA simulations in chemical transport models by consideration of effects of particle viscosity in OA formation and evolution.

Ying Li et al.

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Latest update: 02 Jun 2020
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Short summary
Viscosity is an important property of organic aerosols, but viscosity measurements of ambient organic aerosols are scarce. We developed a method to predict glass transition temperatures using volatility and the atomic oxygen-to-carbon ratio. The method was applied to field observations of volatility distributions to predict viscosity of ambient organic aerosols, yielding consistent results with ambient particle phase state measurements and global simulations.
Viscosity is an important property of organic aerosols, but viscosity measurements of ambient...
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