Characteristics-based sectional modeling of aerosol nucleation and condensation

E.M.A. Frederix, M. Staniç, Arkadiusz K. Kuczaj, M. Nordlund, Bernardus J. Geurts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    A new numerical method for the solution of an internally mixed spatially homogeneous sectional model for aerosol nucleation and condensation is proposed. The characteristics method is used to predict droplet sizes within a discrete time step. The method is de- signed such that 1) a pre-specified number of moments of the droplet size distribution may be preserved, 2) there exists no time step stability restriction related to the condensa- tion rate and section size, 3) highly skewed fixed sectional distributions may be used and 4) it is straightforward to extend to spatially inhomogeneous settings and to incorporate droplet coagulation and break-up. We derive, starting from mass conservation, a consis- tent internally mixed multi-species aerosol model. For certain condensational growth laws analytical solutions exist, against which the method is validated. Using two-moment and four-moment-preserving schemes, we find first order convergence of the numerical solu- tion to the analytical result, as a function of the number of sections. As the four-moment- preserving scheme does not guarantee positivity of the solution, a hybrid scheme is pro- posed, which, when needed, locally reverts back to two-moment preservation, to prevent negativity. As an illustration, the method is applied to a complete multi-species homoge- neous nucleation and condensation problem.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)499-515
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of computational physics
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


    • Aerosol
    • Droplet size distribution
    • Characteristics
    • IR-101789
    • EWI-27317
    • METIS-318557
    • Eulerian
    • Sectional
    • Multi-phase


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