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Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation and Gas/Aerosol Partitioning


Odum, Jay Russell (1998) Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation and Gas/Aerosol Partitioning. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/R5WB-VW19.


An intensive smog chamber study has revealed that secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation follows Raoult's Law type gas/aerosol absorption thermodynamics. SOA formation was shown to occur via the gas/aerosol partitioning of semi-volatile, oxidation products rather than through the condensation of saturated, non-volatile products. The major consequence of this finding is that SOA yields are not constant, but rather are a function of the organic aerosol mass concentration. The theory has been used to successfully describe the aerosol formation potential of seventeen individual aromatic species, eight biogenic compounds, two different simple hydrocarbon precursor mixtures, and twelve different blends of whole gasoline vapor, in hundreds of smog chamber experiments. These results have been included in a 3-dimensional size- and chemically-resolved atmospheric chemical-transport model and used to simulate SOA formation in the South Coast Air Basin. The inherent dependence of SOA concentrations on primary organic aerosol (POA) concentrations, places strict constraints on organic and elemental carbon aerosol emissions inventories.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Environmental Engineering Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Environmental Science and Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Seinfeld, John H. (advisor)
  • Flagan, Richard C. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:15 December 1997
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-01252008-155400
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:344
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:30 Jan 2008
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 22:58

Thesis Files

PDF (Odum_jr_1998.pdf) - Final Version
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