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Centre for Atmospheric Science

Aerosol evolution at the urban street canyon scale

Atmospheric aerosol particles are also of concern for policymakers owing to the health effects related to human exposure to particulate matter. This is of particular concern in the urban environment where vehicular emissions are a major source of particles. There is therefore a need for the ability to model and predict the emission and transport of urban aerosols for health impact assessment and legislative compliance. The modelling of urban aerosols is not a straightforward task. The size distribution of urban aerosols is typically multimodal and these aerosols undergo several transformation processes. Further, an understanding of urban flow and dispersion is essential such that it may be adequately characterised in the model.
The aim of the project is to model the transport of urban aerosols in the local scale representative of a street canyon. A Computational Fluid Dynamics framework will incorporate a computationally efficient means of modelling aerosol processes. The dominant processes characterising aerosol evolution close to source will be incorporated in the model; these include coagulation, condensation and nucleation. The aerosol dynamical treatments being evaluated include the method of moments, with various means of moment closure being assessed. The results of the model may used to inter-compare with other aerosol modelling tools (e.g. LES models) and if possible, validated with existing experimental data.