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Title: Development and Characterization of a Thermodenuder for Aerosol Volatility Measurements

This SBIR Phase I project addressed the critical need for improved characterization of carbonaceous aerosol species in the atmosphere. The proposed work focused on the development of a thermodenuder (TD) system capable of systematically measuring volatility profiles of primary and secondary organic aerosol species and providing insight into the effects of absorbing and nonabsorbing organic coatings on particle absorption properties. This work provided the fundamental framework for the generation of essential information needed for improved predictions of ambient aerosol loadings and radiative properties by atmospheric chemistry models. As part of this work, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (ARI) continued to develop and test, with the final objective of commercialization, an improved thermodenuder system that can be used in series with any aerosol instrument or suite of instruments (e.g., aerosol mass spectrometers-AMS, scanning mobility particle sizers-SMPS, photoacoustic absorption spectrometers-PAS, etc.) to obtain aerosol chemical, physical, and optical properties as a function of particle volatility. In particular, we provided the proof of concept for the direct coupling of our improved TD design with a full microphysical model to obtain volatility profiles for different organic aerosol components and to allow for meaningful comparisons between different TD-derived aerosol measurements. In a TD, particles are passed throughmore » a heated zone and a denuding (activated charcoal) zone to remove semi-volatile material. Changes in particle size, number concentration, optical absorption, and chemical composition are subsequently detected with aerosol instrumentation. The aerosol volatility profiles provided by the TD will strengthen organic aerosol emission inventories, provide further insight into secondary aerosol formation mechanisms, and provide an important measure of particle absorption (including brown carbon contributions and identification, and absorption enhancements due to coatings on soot particles). The successfully completed Phase I project included construction of a prototype design for the TD with detailed physical modeling, testing with laboratory and ambient aerosol particles, and the initiation of a detailed microphysical model of the aerosol particles passing through the TD to extract vapor pressure distributions. The objective of the microphysical model is to derive vapor pressure distributions (i.e. vapor pressure ranges, including single chemical compounds, mixtures of known compounds, and complex ‘real-world’ aerosols, such as SOA, and soot particles with absorbing and nonabsorbing coatings) from TD measurements of changes in particle size, mass, and chemical composition for known TD temperatures and flow rates (i.e. residence times). The proposed Phase II project was designed to optimize several TD systems for different instrument applications and to combine the hardware and modeling into a robust package for commercial sales.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
963729
Report Number(s):
DOE/ER/85161
RP-10531.1; TRN: US201005%%284
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-08ER85161
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Aerodyne Research, Inc., 45 Manning Rd., Billerica, MA 01821-3976
Sponsoring Org:
DOE SBIR Phase I program
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ABSORPTION; AEROSOLS; ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY; CARBON; CHARCOAL; CHEMICAL COMPOSITION; COATINGS; COMMERCIALIZATION; CONSTRUCTION; DESIGN; FLOW RATE; INVENTORIES; MIXTURES; OPTICAL PROPERTIES; PARTICLE SIZE; SOOT; TESTING; VAPOR PRESSURE; VOLATILITY Organic aerosols, volatility, SOA