Development and validation of a simple numerical model for estimating workplace aerosol size distribution evolution through coagulation, settling, and diffusion

Andrew Maynard, Anthony T. Zimmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent research has indicated that the toxicity of inhaled ultrafine particles may be associated with the size of discrete particles deposited in the lungs. However, it has been speculated that in some occupational settings rapid coagulation will lead to relatively low exposures to discrete ultrafine particles. Investigation of likely occupational exposures to ultrafine particles following the generation of aerosols with complex size distributions is most appropriately addressed using validated numerical models. A numerical model has been developed to estimate the size-distribution time-evolution of compact and fractal-like aerosols within workplaces resulting from coagulation, diffusional deposition, and gravitational settling. Good agreement has been shown with an analytical solution to log-normal aerosol evolution, indicating good compatibility with previously published models. Validation using experimental data shows reasonable agreement when assuming spherical particles and coalescence on coagulation. Assuming the formation of fractal-like particles within a range of diameters led to good agreement between modeled and experimental data. The model appears well suited to estimating the relationship between the size distribution of emitted well-mixed ultrafine aerosols, and the aerosol that is ultimately inhaled where diffusion loses are small.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-817
Number of pages14
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Volume37
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Coagulation
Aerosols
workplace
coagulation
Numerical models
particle size
aerosol
Fractals
Particles (particulate matter)
Coalescence
occupational exposure
Toxicity
coalescence
particle
Ultrafine
toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

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