Abstract

In this work, we utilize a rich set of simulated and ground-based observational data in Tianjin, China to examine and compare the differences in aerosol acidity and composition predicted by three popular thermodynamic equilibrium models: ISORROPIA II, the Extended Aerosol Inorganics Model vision IV (E-AIM IV), and the Aerosol Inorganic-Organic Mixtures Functional groups Activity Coefficients model (AIOMFAC). The species used to estimate aerosol acidity for both simulated and ambient data were NH4+, Na+, SO42-, NO3- , and Cl-. For simulated data, there is good agreement between ISORROPIA II and E-AIM IV predicted acidity in the forward and metastable mode, resulting from the hydrogen ion activity coefficient (gamma((H+)) and the molality (m((H+))) showing opposite trends. While almost all other inorganic species concentrations are found to be similar among the three models, such is not the case for the bisulfate ion (HSO4-), which is linked to m((H+)). We find that differences in predicted bisulfate between the three models primarily result from differences in the treatment of the HSO4- <--> H+ + SO42- reaction for highly acidic conditions. This difference in bisulfate is responsible for much of the difference in estimated pH for the ambient data (average pH of 3.5 for ISORROPIA II and 3.0 for E-AIM IV).

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