13 May 2024
 | 13 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Modeling Inertial Deposition of Aerosol Particles in Geometrically Complicated Flow Systems Using Finite Element Methods

Patrick Grahn and Joel Kuula

Abstract. This work presents a modeling approach for calculating the trajectories of aerosol particles in geometrically complicated flow systems. The finite-element based modeling is first validated by comparing the calculated inertial deposition with literature values for two cases of laminar flow: a 90-degree bend and an abrupt contraction of a pipe. The approach is then applied on a multi-part aerosol instrument used for Cantilever-Enhanced-Photo-Acoustic-Spectroscope (CEPAS) measurements. The particle transmission of the CEPAS is experimentally measured and compared to the modeling results. It is demonstrated that the model provides valuable insight on the inertial deposition losses by pinpointing their physical locations within the measurement instrument.

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Patrick Grahn and Joel Kuula

Status: open (until 19 Jun 2024)

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Patrick Grahn and Joel Kuula

Model code and software

COMSOL models for inertial deposition of particles in laminar flow Patrick Grahn

Patrick Grahn and Joel Kuula


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Short summary
A three-dimensional finite-element based method was used to calculate inertial deposition loss of aerosol particles in flow systems. The method was validated by comparing to known results published in literature. Loss in a geometrically complicated aerosol measurement instrument was calculated and compared to measurements. The method pinpoints the physical locations where particles are lost, which is helpful for improving the performance of aerosol instruments.