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Restructuring of carbonaceous particles upon exposure to organic vapours

Miljevic, Branka, Surawski, Nicholas C., Bostrom, Thor, & Ristovski, Zoran (2012) Restructuring of carbonaceous particles upon exposure to organic vapours. Journal of Aerosol Science, 47, pp. 48-57.

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Abstract

Recent research has described the restructuring of particles upon exposure to organic vapours; however, as yet hypotheses able to explain this phenomenon are limited. In this study, a range of experiments were performed to explore different hypotheses related to carbonaceous particle restructuring upon exposure to organic and water vapours, such as: the effect of surface tension, the role of organics in flocculating primary particles, as well as the ability of vapours to “wet” the particle surface. The change in mobility diameter (dm) was investigated for a range carbonaceous particle types (diesel exhaust, petrol exhaust, cigarette smoke, candle smoke, particles generated in a heptane/toluene flame, and wood smoke particles) exposed to different organic (heptane, ethanol, and dimethyl sulfoxide/water (1:1 vol%) mixture) and water vapours. Particles were first size-selected and then bubbled through an impinger (bubbler) containing either an organic solvent or water, where particles trapped inside rising bubbles were exposed to saturated vapours of the solvent in the impinger. The size distribution of particles was simultaneously measured upstream and downstream from the impinger. A size-dependent reduction in dm was observed when bubbling diesel exhaust, particles generated in a heptane/toluene flame, and candle smoke particles through heptane, ethanol and a dimethyl sulfoxide/water (1:1 vol %) mixture. In addition, the size distributions of particles bubbled through an impinger were broader. Moreover, an increase of the geometric standard deviation (σ) of the size distributions of particles bubbled through an impinger was also found to be size-dependent. Size-dependent reduction in dm and an increase of σ indicate that particles undergo restructuring to a more compact form, which was confirmed by TEM analysis. However, bubbling of these particles through water did not result in a size-dependent reduction in dm, nor in an increase of σ. Cigarette smoke, petrol exhaust, and wood smoke particles did not result in any substantial change in dm, or σ, when bubbled through organic solvents or water. Therefore, size-dependent reduction in the dm upon bubbling through organic solvents was observed only for particles that had a fractal-like structure, whilst particles that were liquid or were assumed to be spherical did not exhibit any reduction in dm. Compaction of fractal-like particles was attributed to the ability of condensing vapours to efficiently wet the particles. Our results also show that the presence of an organic layer on the surface of fractal-like particles, or the surface tension of the condensed liquid do not influence the extent of compaction.

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ID Code: 53525
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: carbonaceous particles, soot, morphology, agglomerates, restructuring
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2011.12.005
ISSN: 0021-8502
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Aerosol Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Aerosol Science, [VOL 47, (2012)] DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2011.12.005
Deposited On: 10 Sep 2012 08:15
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 20:45

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