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Cloud droplet activation of black carbon particles coated with organic compounds of varying solubility
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9283-5747
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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2017 (English)In: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, ISSN 1680-7367, E-ISSN 1680-7375Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Atmospheric black carbon (BC) particles are a concern due to their impact on air quality and climate. Their net climate effect 15 is, however, still uncertain. This uncertainty is partly related to the contribution of coated BC-particles to the global CCN budgets. In this study, laboratory measurements were performed to investigate cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity of BC (Regal black) particles, in pure state or coated through evaporating and subsequent condensation of glutaric acid, levoglucosan (both water-soluble organics) or oleic acid (an organic compound with low solubility). A combination of Soot Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (SP-AMS) measurements and size distribution measurements with Scanning Mobility 20 Particle Sizer (SMPS) showed that the studied BC particles were nearly spherical agglomerates with a fractal dimension of 2.79 and that they were coated evenly by the organic species. The CCN activity of BC particles increased after coating with all the studied compounds and was governed by the fraction of organic material. The CCN activation of the BC particles coated by glutaric acid and levoglucosan were in good agreement with the theoretical calculations using shell-and-core model, which is based on a combination of the CCN activities of the pure compounds. The oleic acid coating enhanced the CCN 25 activity of the BC particles, even though the pure oleic acid particles were CCN inactive. The surprising effect of oleic acid might be related to the arrangement of the oleic acid molecules on the surface of the BC cores or other surface phenomena facilitating water condensation onto the coated particles. Our results show potential in accurately predicting the CCN activity of atmospheric BC coated with organic species by present theories, given that the identities and amount of the coating species are known. Furthermore, our results suggest that even relatively thin soluble coatings (around 2 nm for the compounds studied here) are enough to make the insoluble BC particles CCN active at typical atmospheric supersaturations and thus be efficiently taken up by cloud droplets. This highlights the need of an accurate description of the composition of atmospheric particles containing BC to unravel their net impact on climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Black carbon, CCN activation, coated aerosols
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149334OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149334DiVA: diva2:1160878
Available from: 2017-11-28 Created: 2017-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
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Dalirian, MaryamSchlesinger, DanielStröm, JohanRiipinen, Ilona
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