Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

First Advisor

Gregory R. Carmichael

First Committee Member

Vicki H Grassian

Second Committee Member

Charles O Stanier

Third Committee Member

David G Rethwisch

Fourth Committee Member

Thomas M Peters


In this thesis, a new aerosol module is developed for the STEM model (the Sulfur Transport and dEposition Model) to better understand the chemical aging of dust during long range transport and assess the impact of heterogeneous reactions on tropospheric chemistry. The new aerosol module is verified and first applied in a box model, and then coupled into the 3-Dimentional STEM model. In the new aerosol model, a non-equilibrium (dynamic or kinetic) approach to treat gas-to-particular conversion is employed to replace the equilibrium method in STEM model. Meanwhile, a new numerical method solving the aerosol dynamics equation is introduced into the dynamic aerosol model for its improved computational efficiency and high accuracy. Compared with the equilibrium method, the new dynamic approach is found to provide better results on predicating the different hygroscopicity and chemical aging patterns as a function of size. The current modeling study also takes advantage of new findings from laboratory experiments about heterogeneous reactions on mineral oxides and dust particles, in order to consider the complexity of surface chemistry (such as surface saturation, coating and relative humidity). Modeling results show that the impacts of mineralogy and relative humidity on heterogeneous reactions are significant and should be considered in atmospheric chemistry modeling with first priority. Finally, the upgraded 3-D STEM model is utilized to explore the observations from the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment - Phase B (INTEX-B). The new dynamic approach for gas-to-particular conversion and RH-dependent heterogeneous uptake of HNO3 improve the model performance in term of aerosol predictions under different conditions. It is shown that these improvements change the modeled nitrate and sulfate concentrations, but also modify their size distributions significantly.


aerosol module, chemical transport model, dust storm, heterogeneous reaction


x, 106 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 100-106).


Copyright 2010 Chao Wei