Understanding the Spatial Heterogeneity of Indoor OH and HO2 due to Photolysis of HONO Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation

Youngbo Won, Michael Waring, Donghyun Rim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Indoor photolysis of nitrous acid (HONO) generates hydroxyl radicals (OH), and since OH is fast reacting, it may be confined within the HONO-photolyzing indoor volume of light. This study investigated the HONO-photolysis-induced formation of indoor OH, the transformation of OH to hydroperoxy radicals (HO2), and resulting spatial distributions of those radicals and their oxidation products. To do so, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model framework was established to simulate HONO photolysis in a room and subsequent reactions associated with OH and HO2 under a typical range of indoor lighting and ventilation conditions. The results showed that OH and HO2 were essentially confined in the volume of HONO-photolyzing light, but oxidation products were relatively well distributed throughout the room. As the light volume increased, more total in-room OH was produced, thereby increasing oxidation product concentrations. Spatial distributions of OH and HO2 varied by the type of artificial light (e.g., fluorescent versus incandescent), due to differences in photon flux as a function of light source and the distance from the source. The HO2 generation rate and air change rate made notable impacts on product concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14470-14478
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 17 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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