Why is the Aerosol particle distribution lognormal?

In summary, the biasing of certain diameters in the aerosol production process may be influenced by factors such as particle size and shape, production processes, and environmental conditions. Further study is needed to fully understand these mechanisms.
  • #1
ILogtheNormal
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I understand this is primarily a phenomenological law from observations, but is there are reasoning why certain diameters are biased in the aerosol production process? What mechanisms are possible culprits for this biasing?

Thanks!
 
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  • #2
Your guess is as good as mine but you might consider that an aerosol's size distribution is skewed toward bigger sizes because either the larger sizes are the source of the smaller particles (soot starts out large and burns up to reach a final size) or that the zeta potential of the smallest particles causes a preferential agglomeration into the larger sizes. Sounds like an interesting project for study.
 
  • #3


There are a few possible reasons for the biasing of certain diameters in the aerosol production process. One possible mechanism is the size and shape of the particles being produced. Different particles may have different physical properties that make them more likely to be produced in certain sizes. Additionally, the production process itself may play a role in biasing certain diameters. For example, if the production process involves a filtering or sieving step, this could result in particles of a certain size being more likely to pass through. Other factors such as temperature, pressure, and chemical composition could also play a role in determining the size of the particles produced. Ultimately, more research is needed to fully understand the underlying mechanisms behind the biasing of certain diameters in aerosol production.
 

Related to Why is the Aerosol particle distribution lognormal?

1. Why is a lognormal distribution used to describe aerosol particle size?

The lognormal distribution is commonly used to describe aerosol particle size because it is a better fit for the wide range of particle sizes found in the atmosphere compared to other distributions. Additionally, many aerosol processes, such as coagulation and condensation, lead to a lognormal distribution of particle sizes.

2. How is the lognormal distribution related to the geometric mean and standard deviation of aerosol particle size?

The geometric mean of aerosol particle size is the center of the lognormal distribution, while the standard deviation determines the spread of the distribution. A higher standard deviation means a wider range of particle sizes, while a lower standard deviation means a more narrow range of particle sizes.

3. What factors affect the shape of the lognormal distribution for aerosol particles?

The shape of the lognormal distribution for aerosol particles can be affected by various factors, including the source of the particles, atmospheric conditions, and particle aging processes. For example, particles from combustion sources tend to have a narrower distribution compared to particles from dust or sea spray.

4. How does the lognormal distribution change over time in the atmosphere?

The lognormal distribution of aerosol particles can change over time due to various processes, such as coagulation, condensation, and deposition. These processes can shift the distribution towards larger or smaller particle sizes, depending on the conditions and sources present in the atmosphere.

5. Can the lognormal distribution be used to predict the health effects of aerosol particles?

While the lognormal distribution is useful for describing the size distribution of aerosol particles, it does not provide information about the chemical composition or toxicity of the particles. Therefore, it cannot be used to predict the health effects of aerosol particles on its own, and other information, such as particle composition, must be considered.

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