The impact of building recirculation rates on secondary organic aerosols generated by indoor chemistry

M.S. Zuraimi, Charles J. Weschler, K.W. Tham, M.O. Fadeyi

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Numerous investigators have documented increases in the concentrations of airborne particles as a consequence of ozone/terpene reactions in indoor environments. This study examines the effect of building recirculation rates on the concentrations of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) resulting from reactions between indoor limonene and ozone. The experiments were conducted in a large environmental chamber using four recirculation rates (11, 14, 19 and 24 air change per hour (ACH)) and a constant outdoor air exchange rate (I ACH) as well as constant emission rates for limonene and ozone. As the recirculation rates increased, the deposition velocities of ozone and SOA increased. As a consequence of reduced production rates (due to less ozone) and larger surface removal rates, number and mass concentrations of SOA in different size ranges decreased significantly at higher recirculation rates. Enhanced coagulation at higher recirculation rates also reduced particle number concentrations, while shifting size-distributions towards larger particles. The results have health implications beyond changes in exposures, since particle size is a factor that determines where a particle deposits in the respiratory tract.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAtmospheric Environment
    Issue number25
    Pages (from-to)5213-5223
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • particle size-distributions
    • surface removal
    • recirculation rates
    • secondary organic aerosols (SOAs)
    • coagulation
    • ozone-initiated chemistry


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