skip to main content

Title: External and internal cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) mixtures: controlled laboratory studies of varying mixing states

Abstract. Changes in aerosol chemical mixtures modify cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)activity. Previous studies have developed CCN models and validated changesin external and internal mixing state with ambient field data. Here, wedevelop an experimental method to test and validate the CCN activation ofknown aerosol chemical composition with multicomponent mixtures and varyingmixing states. CCN activation curves consisting of one or more activationpoints are presented. Specifically, simplified two-component systems ofvarying hygroscopicity were generated under internal, external, andtransitional mixing conditions. κ-Köhler theory predictions werecalculated for different organic and inorganic mixtures and compared toexperimentally derived kappa values and respective mixing states. This workemploys novel experimental methods to provide information on the shifts inCCN activation data due to external to internal particle mixing fromcontrolled laboratory sources. Results show that activation curvesconsisting of single and double activation points are consistent withinternal and external mixtures, respectively. In addition, the height of theplateau at the activation points is reflective of the externally mixedconcentration in the mixture. The presence of a plateau indicates that CCNactivation curves consisting of multiple inflection points are externallymixed aerosols of varying water-uptake properties. The plateau disappearswhen mixing is promoted in the flow tube. At the end of the flow tubeexperiment, the aerosols are internally more » mixed and the CCN activated fractiondata can be fit with a single-sigmoid curve. The technique to mimicexternally to internally mixed aerosol is applied to non-hygroscopiccarbonaceous aerosol with organic and inorganic components. To ourknowledge, this work is the first to show controlled CCN activation of mixednon-hygroscopic soot with hygroscopic material as the aerosol populationtransitions from externally to internally mixed states in laboratoryconditions. Results confirm that CCN activation analysis methods used hereand in ambient data sets are robust and may be used to infer the mixingstate of complex aerosol compositions of unknown origin.

« less
; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
4277 to 4289
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Nicole Riemer (Ed.)
    Aerosol particles in the atmosphere have the ability to uptake water and form droplets. The droplets formed can interact with solar radiation (indirect effect of aerosols) and influence the net radiative forcing. However, the magnitude of change in radiative forcing due to the indirect effect of aerosols remains uncertain due to the high variance in aerosol composition and mixing states, both spatial and temporally. As such, there is a need to measure the water-uptake of different aerosol particle groups under controlled conditions to gain insight into the water-uptake of complex ambient systems. In this work, the water-uptake (hygroscopicity) of internally and externally mixed ammonium sulfate – organic binary mixtures were directly measured via three methods and compared to droplet growth prediction models. We found that subsaturated water-uptake of ammonium sulfate-organic mixtures agreed with their supersaturated hygroscopicity, and mixing state information was able to be retrieved at both humidity regimes. In addition, we found that solubility-adjusted models may not be able to capture the water-uptake of viscous particles, and for soluble organic aerosol particles, bulk solubility may not be comparable to their solubility in a droplet. This work highlights the importance of using multiple complementary water-uptake measurement instruments to get amore »clearer picture of mixed aerosol particle hygroscopicity, especially for increasingly complex systems.« less
  2. Abstract. This study presents a characterization of the hygroscopic growth behaviour and effects of different inorganic seed particles on the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) from the dark ozone-initiated oxidation of isoprene at low NOx conditions. We performed simulations of isoprene oxidation using a gas-phase chemical reaction mechanism based onthe Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM) in combination with an equilibriumgas–particle partitioning model to predict the SOA concentration. Theequilibrium model accounts for non-ideal mixing in liquid phases, includingliquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS), and is based on the AIOMFAC (Aerosol Inorganic–Organic Mixtures Functional groups Activity Coefficients) model for mixture non-ideality and the EVAPORATION (Estimation of VApour Pressure of ORganics, Accounting for Temperature,Intramolecular, and Non-additivity effects) model for pure compound vapourpressures. Measurements from the Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets (CLOUD)chamber experiments, conducted at the European Organization for NuclearResearch (CERN) for isoprene ozonolysis cases, were used to aid inparameterizing the SOA yields at different atmospherically relevanttemperatures, relative humidity (RH), and reacted isoprene concentrations. To represent the isoprene-ozonolysis-derived SOA, a selection of organicsurrogate species is introduced in the coupled modelling system. The modelpredicts a single, homogeneously mixed particle phase at all relativehumidity levels for SOA formation in the absence of any inorganic seedparticles. In the presence ofmore »aqueous sulfuric acid or ammonium bisulfateseed particles, the model predicts LLPS to occur below ∼ 80 % RH, where the particles consist of an inorganic-rich liquid phase andan organic-rich liquid phase; however, this includes significant amounts of bisulfate and water partitioned to the organic-rich phase. The measurements show an enhancement in the SOA amounts at 85 % RH, compared to 35 % RH, for both the seed-free and seeded cases. The model predictions of RH-dependent SOA yield enhancements at 85 % RH vs. 35 % RH are 1.80 for a seed-free case, 1.52 for the case with ammonium bisulfate seed, and 1.06 for the case with sulfuric acid seed. Predicted SOA yields are enhanced in the presence of an aqueous inorganic seed, regardless of the seed type (ammonium sulfate, ammonium bisulfate, or sulfuric acid) in comparison with seed-free conditions at the same RH level. We discuss the comparison of model-predicted SOA yields with a selection of other laboratory studies on isoprene SOA formation conducted at different temperatures and for a variety of reacted isoprene concentrations. Those studies were conducted at RH levels at or below 40 % with reported SOA mass yields ranging from 0.3 % up to 9.0 %, indicating considerable variations. A robust feature of our associated gas–particle partitioning calculations covering the whole RH range is the predicted enhancement of SOA yield at high RH (> 80 %) compared to low RH (dry) conditions, which is explained by the effect of particle water uptake and its impact on the equilibrium partitioning of all components.« less
  3. Marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds are an important, though uncertain, part of Earth’s radiative budget. Previous studies have shown sources of aerosol particles in the remote MBL consist of primary sea spray, the oxidation of organic and inorganic vapors derived from the ocean, entrainment from the free troposphere, and anthropogenic pollution. The potential for these particles to become cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) varies largely dependent on their hygroscopic properties. Furthermore, when clouds form, physical processes can alter the optical properties of the cloud. This dissertation aims to identify variations in aerosol sources that affect MBL CCN concentrations and physical processes throughout the cloud lifetime that influence cloud optical properties. Ambient measurements of marine particles and clouds were made throughout two campaigns in the north Pacific and four campaigns in the north Atlantic. Both clean marine and polluted clouds were sampled. In addition, dry MBL particles were measured to identify their chemical composition and size distribution, which is necessary to identify their potential to be CCN active. The organic hygroscopicity influenced CCN concentrations and cloud optical properties significantly for particles that were mostly organic, such as ship stack and generated smoke particles. For a typical range of organic hygroscopicity the amountmore »of reflected solar radiation varied by 2-7% for polluted conditions and less than 1% for clean conditions. Simulated droplet spectral width was shown to be more representative of observations when using a weighted distribution of cloud base heights and updraft velocities, and increased the cloud reflectivity up to 2%. Cloud top entrainment and decoupling of the MBL were found to account for a decrease in cloud radiative forcing. Cloud top entrainment was corrected for homogeneous entrainment and accounted for a decrease in radiative forcing of up to 50 Wm-2. Clustering of individual marine aerosol particles resulted in the identification of particle types derived from dimethyl-sulfide (DMS) oxidation. Two particle types were identified to come from DMS oxidation products and accounted for approximately 25% and 65% of CCN at 0.1% supersaturation during the winter and summer, respectively. One of the particle types was found to be entrained from the free troposphere.« less
  4. In this work, we studied the Cloud Condensation nuclei (CCN) activity and subsaturated droplet growth of Phthalic acid (PTA), isophthalic acid, (IPTA) and terephthalic acid (TPTA), significant benzene polycarboxylic acids and structural isomers found in the atmosphere. Köhler Theory can be effectively applied for hygroscopicity analysis of PTA due to its higher aqueous solubility compared to IPTA and TPTA. As with other hygroscopicity studies of partially water-soluble and effectively water insoluble species, the supersaturated and subsaturated hygroscopicity derived from (KT) principles do not agree. To address the disparities in the sub- and supersaturated droplet growth, we developed a new analytical framework called the Hybrid Activity Model (HAM). HAM incorporates the aqueous solubility of a solute within an adsorption-based activation framework. Frenkel-Halsey-Hill (FHH)-Adsorption Theory (FHH-AT) was combined with the aqueous solubility of the compound to develop HAM. Analysis from HAM was validated using laboratory measurements of pure PTA, IPTA, TPTA and PTA-IPTA internal mixtures. Furthermore, the results generated using HAM were tested against traditional KT and FHH-AT to compare their water uptake predictive capabilities. A single-hygroscopicity parameter was also developed based on the HAM framework. Results show that the HAM based hygroscopicity parameter based can successfully simulate the water uptake behaviormore »of the pure and internally mixed samples. Results indicate that the HAM framework may be applied to atmospheric aerosols of varying chemical structures and aqueous solubility.« less
  5. Abstract. The climatic and health effects of aerosols are strongly dependent on the intra-annual variations in their loading and properties. While the seasonal variations of regional aerosol optical depth (AOD) have been extensively studied, understanding the temporal variations in aerosol vertical distribution and particle types is also important for an accurate estimate of aerosol climatic effects. In this paper, we combine the observations from four satellite-borne sensors and several ground-based networks to investigate the seasonal variations of aerosol column loading, vertical distribution, and particle types over three populous regions: the Eastern United States (EUS), Western Europe (WEU), and Eastern and Central China (ECC). In all three regions, column AOD, as well as AOD at heights above 800m, peaks in summer/spring, probably due to accelerated formation of secondary aerosols and hygroscopic growth. In contrast, AOD below 800m peaks in winter over WEU and ECC regions because more aerosols are confined to lower heights due to the weaker vertical mixing. In the EUS region, AOD below 800m shows two maximums, one in summer and the other in winter. The temporal trends in low-level AOD are consistent with those in surface fine particle (PM2.5) concentrations. AOD due to fine particlesmore »( < 0.7µm diameter) is much larger in spring/summer than in winter over all three regions. However, the coarse mode AOD ( > 1.4µm diameter), generally shows small variability, except that a peak occurs in spring in the ECC region due to the prevalence of airborne dust during this season. When aerosols are classified according to sources, the dominant type is associated with anthropogenic air pollution, which has a similar seasonal pattern as total AOD. Dust and sea-spray aerosols in the WEU region peak in summer and winter, respectively, but do not show an obvious seasonal pattern in the EUS region. Smoke aerosols, as well as absorbing aerosols, present an obvious unimodal distribution with a maximum occurring in summer over the EUS and WEU regions, whereas they follow a bimodal distribution with peaks in August and March (due to crop residue burning) over the ECC region.

    « less