The distribution of ammonium salts among a size and composition dispersed aerosol

Anthony S. Wexler, John H. Seinfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Scopus citations

Abstract

The chemical and physical processes that govern the distribution of ammonium salt condensate over a size- and composition-dispersed aerosol particle population are considered. From an analysis of the concentration profiles of ammonia, nitric acid, and hydrochloric acid vapors surrounding an aerosol particle, the single particle fluxes of these species are derived. By evaluating the time scales for equilibration of the vapor-phase species with a population of aerosol particles, it is found that ammonium salts in the gas and aerosol phases are not always in equilibrium, especially under less polluted and cooler conditions. The principles that govern the distribution of ammonium salts on aerosol particles of different size and composition are identified, and it is found that thermodynamic equilibrium often does not uniquely determine the distribution of ammonium salt condensate. Thus it is concluded that both transport and thermodynamic properties of the aerosol population govern the distribution of ammonium salt condensate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1246
Number of pages16
JournalAtmospheric Environment Part A, General Topics
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • aerosol size distribution
  • ammonium chloride
  • Ammonium nitrate
  • atmospheric aerosol
  • thermodynamic equilibrium
  • time constants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution

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