Gas and Aerosol Wall Losses in Teflon Film Smog Chambers

Peter H McMurry, Daniel Grosjean

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Large smog chambers (~60 m3) constructed of FEP Teflon film are frequently used to study photochemistry and aerosol formation in model chemical systems. In a previous paper (6) a theory for aerosol wall loss rates in Teflon film smog chambers was developed; predicted particle loss rates were in good agreement with measured rates. In the present paper, measurements of wall deposition rates and the effects of wall losses on measurements of gas-to-particle conversion in smog chambers are discussed. Calculations indicate that a large fraction (up to 83%; typical values of 33-70%) of the aerosol formed in several smog chamber experiments was on the chamber walls at the end of the experiment. Estimated values for particulate organic carbon yield for several precursor hydrocarbons increased by factors of 1.3-6.0 when wall deposition was taken into account. The theory is also extended to loss rates of gaseous species. Such loss rates are either limited by diffusion through a concentration boundary layer near the surface or by uptake at the surface. It is shown that for a typical 60-m3 Teflon film smog chamber, gas loss rates are limited by surface reaction rates if mass accommodation coefficients are less than 6 X 10-6. It follows that previously reported loss rates of several gases in a chamber of this type (12) were limited by surface reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1176-1182
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985


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