[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffusion of organic vapours to the surface of aerosol or cloud particles is an important step for the formation and transformation of atmospheric particles. So far, however, a database of gas phase diffusion coefficients for organic compounds of atmospheric interest has not been available. In this work we have compiled and evaluated gas phase diffusivities (pressure-independent diffusion coefficients) of organic compounds reported by previous experimental studies, and we compare the measurement data to estimates obtained with Fuller's semi-empirical method. The difference between measured and estimated diffusivities are mostly < 10%. With regard to gas-particle interactions, different gas molecules, including both organic and inorganic compounds, exhibit similar Knudsen numbers (Kn) although their gas phase diffusivities may vary over a wide range. This is because different trace gas molecules have similar mean free paths in air at a given pressure. Thus, we introduce the pressure-normalised mean free path, λP ≈ 100 nm atm, as a near-constant generic parameter that can be used for approximate calculation of Knudsen numbers as a simple function of gas pressure and particle diameter to characterise the influence of gas phase diffusion on the uptake of gases by aerosol or cloud particles. We use a kinetic multilayer model of gas-particle interaction to illustrate the effects of gas phase diffusion on the condensation of organic compounds with different volatilities. The results show that gas phase diffusion can play a major role in determining the growth of secondary organic aerosol particles by condensation of low-volatility organic vapours.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemical composition is essential for understanding the formation and evolution of atmospheric aerosol particles. Due to analytical limitations, however, relatively little information is available for sub-10 nm particles. We present the design of a nano-cloud condensation nuclei counter (nano-CCNC) for measuring size-resolved hygroscopicity and inferring chemical composition of sub-10 nm aerosol particles. We extend the use of counting efficiency spectra from a water-based condensation particle counter (CPC) and link it to the analysis of CCN activation spectra, which provides a theoretical basis for the application of a scanning supersaturation CPC (SS-CPC) as a nano-CCNC. Measurement procedures and data analysis methods are demonstrated through laboratory experiments with monodisperse particles of diameter down to 2.5 nm, where sodium chloride, ammonium sulfate, sucrose and tungsten oxide can be easily discriminated by different characteristic supersaturations of water droplet formation. The design is not limited to the water CPC, but also applies to CPCs with other working fluids (e.g. butanol, perfluorotributylamine). We suggest that a combination of SS-CPCs with multiple working fluids may provide further insight into the chemical composition of nanoparticles and the role of organic and inorganic compounds in the initial steps of atmospheric new particle formation and growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Amazon Basin plays key roles in the carbon and water cycles, climate change, atmospheric chemistry, and biodiversity. It already has been changed significantly by human activities, and more pervasive change is expected to occur in the next decades. It is therefore essential to establish long-term measurement sites that provide a baseline record of present-day climatic, biogeochemical, and atmospheric conditions and that will be operated over coming decades to monitor change in the Amazon region as human perturbations increase in the future.
The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) has been set up in a pristine rain forest region in the central Amazon Basin, about 150 km northeast of the city of Manaus. An ecological survey including a biodiversity assessment has been conducted in the forest region surrounding the site. Two 80 m towers have been operated at the site since 2012, and a 325 m tower is nearing completion in mid-2015. Measurements of micrometeorological and atmospheric chemical variables were initiated in 2012, and their range has continued to broaden over the last few years. The meteorological and micrometeorological measurements include temperature and wind profiles, precipitation, water and energy fluxes, turbulence components, soil temperature profiles and soil heat fluxes, radiation fluxes, and visibility. A tree has been instrumented to measure stem profiles of temperature, light intensity, and water content in cryptogamic covers. The trace gas measurements comprise continuous monitoring of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and ozone at 5 to 8 different heights, complemented by a variety of additional species measured during intensive campaigns (e.g., VOC, NO, NO2, and OH reactivity). Aerosol optical, microphysical, and chemical measurements are made above the canopy as well as in the canopy space. They include light scattering and absorption, aerosol fluorescence, number and volume size distributions, chemical composition, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations, and hygroscopicity. Initial results from ecological, meteorological, and chemical studies at the ATTO site are presented in this paper.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cloud glaciation is critically important for the global radiation budget (albedo) and for initiation of precipitation. But the freezing of pure water droplets requires cooling to temperatures as low as 235 K. Freezing at higher temperatures requires the presence of an ice nucleator, which serves as a template for arranging water molecules in an ice-like manner. It is often assumed that these ice nucle-ators have to be insoluble particles. We point out that also free macromolecules which are dissolved in water can efficiently induce ice nucleation: the size of such ice nucleating macromolecules (INMs) is in the range of nanometers, corresponding to the size of the critical ice embryo. As the latter is temperature-dependent, we see a correlation between the size of INMs and the ice nucleation temperature as predicted by classical nucleation theory. Different types of INMs have been found in a wide range of biological species and comprise a variety of chemical structures including proteins, sac-charides, and lipids. Our investigation of the fungal species Acremonium implicatum, Isaria farinosa, and Mortierella alpina shows that their ice nucleation activity is caused by proteinaceous water-soluble INMs. We combine these new results and literature data on INMs from fungi, bacteria, and pollen with theoretical calculations to develop a chemical interpretation of ice nucleation and water-soluble INMs. This has atmospheric implications since many of these INMs can be released by fragmentation of the carrier cell and subsequently may be distributed independently. Up to now, this process has not been accounted for in atmospheric models.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Real-time mass spectra of the non-refractory species in submicron aerosol particles were recorded in a tropical rainforest in the central Amazon Basin during the wet season from February to March 2008, as a part of the Amazonian Aerosol Characterization Experiment (AMAZE-08). Organic material accounted on average for more than 80% of the non-refractory submicron particle mass concentrations during the period of measurements. There was insufficient ammonium to neutralize sulfate. In this acidic, isoprene-rich, HO2-dominant environment, positive-matrix factorization of the time series of particle mass spectra identified four statistical factors to account for the 99% of the variance in the signal intensities of the organic constituents. The first factor was identified as associated with regional and local pollution and labeled "HOA" for its hydrocarbon-like characteristics. A second factor was associated with long-range transport and labeled "OOA-1" for its oxygenated characteristics. A third factor, labeled "OOA-2," was implicated as associated with the reactive uptake of isoprene oxidation products, especially of epoxydiols to acidic haze, fog, or cloud droplets. A fourth factor, labeled "OOA-3," was consistent with an association with the fresh production of secondary organic material (SOM) by the mechanism of gas-phase oxidation of biogenic volatile organic precursors followed by gas-to-particle conversion of the oxidation products. The suffixes 1, 2, and 3 on the OOA labels signify ordinal ranking with respect to the extent of oxidation represented by the factor. The process of aqueous-phase oxidation of water-soluble products of gas-phase photochemistry might also have been associated to some extent with the OOA-2 factor. The campaign-average factor loadings had a ratio of 1.4:1 for OOA-2 : OOA-3, suggesting the comparable importance of particle-phase compared to gas-phase pathways for the production of SOM during the study period.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extreme haze episodes repeatedly shrouded Beijing during the winter of 2012-2013, causing major environmental and health problems. To better understand these extreme events, we performed a model-assisted analysis of the hourly observation data of PM2.5 and its major chemical compositions. The synthetic analysis shows that (1) the severe winter haze was driven by stable synoptic meteorological conditions over northeastern China, and not by an abrupt increase in anthropogenic emissions. (2) Secondary species, including organics, sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium, were the major constituents of PM2.5 during this period. (3) Due to the dimming effect of high loading of aerosol particles, gaseous oxidant concentrations decreased significantly, suggesting a reduced production of secondary aerosols through gas-phase reactions. Surprisingly, the observational data reveals an enhanced production rate of secondary aerosols, suggesting an important contribution from other formation pathways, most likely heterogeneous reactions. These reactions appeared to be more efficient in producing secondary inorganics aerosols than organic aerosols resulting in a strongly elevated fraction of inorganics during heavily polluted periods. (4) Moreover, we found that high aerosol concentration was a regional phenomenon. The accumulation process of aerosol particles occurred successively from cities southeast of Beijing. The apparent sharp increase in PM2.5 concentration of up to several hundred mu g m(-3) per hour recorded in Beijing represented rapid recovery from an interruption to the continuous pollution accumulation over the region, rather than purely local chemical production. This suggests that regional transport of pollutants played an important role during these severe pollution events.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study we describe the hygroscopic properties of accumulation- and coarse-mode aerosol particles sampled at the Zotino Tall Tower Observatory (ZOTTO) in Central Siberia (61° N; 89° E) from 16 to 21 June 2013. The hygroscopic growth measurements were supplemented with chemical analyses of the samples, including inorganic ions and organic/elemental carbon. In addition, the microstructure and chemical composition of aerosol particles were analyzed by X-ray micro-spectroscopy (STXM-NEXAFS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A mass closure analysis indicates that organic carbon accounted for 61 and 38% of PM in the accumulation mode and coarse mode, respectively. The water soluble fraction of organic matter was estimated to be 52 and 8% of PM in these modes. Sulfate, predominantly in the form of ammoniated sulfate, was the dominant inorganic component in both size modes: ∼34% in the accumulation vs. ∼47% in the coarse mode. The hygroscopic growth measurements were conducted with a filter-based differential hygroscopicity analyzer (FDHA) over the range of 5–99.4% RH in the hydration and dehydration operation modes. The FDHA study indicates that both accumulation and coarse modes exhibit pronounced water uptake approximately at the same RH, starting at ∼70%, while efflorescence occurred at different humidities, i.e., at ∼35% RH for submicron particles vs. ∼50% RH for supermicron particles. This ∼15% RH difference was attributed to higher content of organic material in the submicron particles, which suppresses water release in the dehydration experiments. The kappa mass interaction model (KIM) was applied to characterize and parameterize non-ideal solution behavior and concentration-dependent water uptake by atmospheric aerosol samples in the 5–99.4% RH range. Based on KIM, the volume-based hygroscopicity parameter, κv, was calculated. The κv, ws value related to the water soluble (ws) fraction was estimated to be ∼0.15 for the accumulation mode and ∼0.36 for the coarse mode, respectively. The obtained κv, ws for the accumulation mode is in good agreement with earlier data reported for remote sites in the Amazon rain forest (κv ≈ 0.15) and a Colorado boreal forest (κv ≈ 0.16). We used the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule to predict the chemical composition dependent hygroscopicity, κv, p. The obtained κv, p values overestimate the experimental FDHA-KIM-derived κv, ws by factors of 1.8 and 1.5 for the accumulation and coarse modes, respectively. This divergence can be partly explained by incomplete dissolution of the hygroscopic inorganic compounds resulting from kinetic limitations due to a sparingly soluble organic coating. The TEM and STXM-NEXAFS results indicate that aged submicron (>300 nm) and supermicron aerosol particles possess core-shell structures with an inorganic core, and are enriched in organic carbon at the mixed particle surface. The direct FDHA kinetic studies provide a bulk diffusion coefficient of water of ∼10−12 cm2 s−1 indicating a semi-solid state of the organic-rich phase leading to kinetic limitations of water uptake and release during hydration and dehydration cycles. Overall the present ZOTTO data set, obtained in the growing season, has revealed a strong influence of organic carbon on the hygroscopic properties of the ambient aerosols. The sparingly soluble organic coating controls hygroscopic growth, phase transitions, and microstructural rearrangement processes. The observed kinetic limitations can strongly influence the outcome of experiments performed on multi-second time scales, such as the commonly applied HTDMA (Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer) and CCNC (Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter) measurements.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flow reactors, denuders, and sampling tubes are essential tools for many applications in analytical and physical chemistry and engineering. We derive a new method for determining radial diffusion effects and the penetration or transmission of gas molecules and aerosol particles through cylindrical tubes under laminar flow conditions using explicit analytical equations. In contrast to traditional methods based on Brown (1978) and Cooney, Kim and Davis (1974, CKD), the new approximation developed in this study (KPS) does not require interpolation or numerical techniques. The KPS method agrees well with the CKD method under all experimental conditions and also with the Brown method at low Sherwood numbers. At high Sherwood numbers corresponding to high uptake on the wall, flow entry effects become relevant and are considered in the KPS and CKD methods, but not in the Brown method. The practical applicability of the KPS method is demonstrated by the analysis of measurement data from experimental studies of rapid OH, intermediate NO3, and slow O3 uptake on various organic substrates. The KPS method also allows determining the penetration of aerosol particles through a tube, using a single equation to cover both the limiting cases of high and low deposition described by Gormley and Kennedy (1949). We demonstrate that the treatment of gas and particle diffusion converges in the KPS method thus facilitating the prediction of diffusional loss and penetration of gases and particles, the analysis of chemical kinetics data, and the design of fluid reactors, denuders, and sampling lines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffusion of organic vapours to the surface of aerosol or cloud particles is an important step for the formation and transformation of atmospheric particles. So far, however, a database of gas phase diffusion coefficients for organic compounds of atmospheric interest has not been available. In this work we have compiled and evaluated gas phase diffusivities (pressure-independent diffusion coefficients) of organic compounds reported by previous experimental studies, and we compare the measurement data to estimates obtained with Fuller's semi-empirical method. The difference between measured and estimated diffusivities are mostly < 10%. With regard to gas-particle interactions, different gas molecules, including both organic and inorganic compounds, exhibit similar Knudsen numbers (Kn) although their gas phase diffusivities may vary over a wide range. Knudsen numbers of gases with unknown diffusivity can be approximated by a simple function of particle diameter and pressure and can be used to characterize the influence of diffusion on gas uptake by aerosol or cloud particles. We use a kinetic multi-layer model of gas-particle interaction to illustrate the effects of gas phase diffusion on the condensation of organic compounds with different volatilities. The results show that gas-phase diffusion can play a major role in determining the growth of secondary organic aerosol particles by condensation of low-volatility organic vapours.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biological residues in soil dust are a potentially strong source of atmospheric ice nuclei (IN). So far, however , the abundance, diversity, sources, seasonality, and role of biological – in particular, fungal – IN in soil dust have not been characterized. By analysis of the culturable fungi in topsoils, from a range of different land use and ecosystem types in southeast Wyoming, we found ice-nucleation-active (INA) fungi to be both widespread and abundant, particularly in soils with recent inputs of decomposable organic matter. Across all investigated soils, 8 % of fungal isolates were INA. All INA isolates initiated freezing at −5 to −6 • C, and belonged to a single zygomycotic species, Mortierella alpina (Mortierellales, Mortierellomycotina). To our knowledge this is the first report of ice nucleation activity in a zy-gomycotic fungi because the few known INA fungi all belong to the phyla Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. M. alpina is known to be saprobic and widespread in soil, and Mortierella spores are present in air and rain. Sequencing of the ITS region and the gene for γ-linolenic elongase revealed four distinct clades, affiliated to different soil types. The IN produced by M. alpina seem to be proteinaceous, < 300 kDa in size, and can be easily washed off the mycelium. Ice nucleat-ing fungal mycelium will ramify topsoils and probably also release cell-free IN into it. If these IN survive decomposition or are adsorbed onto mineral surfaces, their contribution might accumulate over time, perhaps to be transported with soil dust and influencing its ice nucleating properties.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiphase reactions of OH radicals are among the most important pathways of chemical aging of organic aerosols in the atmosphere. Reactive uptake of OH by organic compounds has been observed in a number of studies, but the kinetics of mass transport and chemical reaction are still not fully understood. Here we apply the kinetic multi-layer model of gas-particle interactions (KM-GAP) to experimental data from OH exposure studies of levoglucosan and abietic acid, which serve as surrogates and molecular markers of biomass burning aerosol (BBA). The model accounts for gas-phase diffusion within a cylindrical coated-wall flow tube, reversible adsorption of OH, surface-bulk exchange, bulk diffusion, and chemical reactions at the surface and in the bulk of the condensed phase. The non-linear dependence of OH uptake coefficients on reactant concentrations and time can be reproduced by KM-GAP. We find that the bulk diffusion coefficient of the organic molecules is approximately 10-16 cm2 s-1, reflecting an amorphous semi-solid state of the organic substrates. The OH uptake is governed by reaction at or near the surface and can be kinetically limited by surface-bulk exchange or bulk diffusion of the organic reactants. Estimates of the chemical half-life of levoglucosan in 200 nm particles in a biomass burning plume increase from one day at high relative humidity to one week under dry conditions. In BBA particles transported to the free troposphere, the chemical half-life of levoglucosan can exceed one month due to slow bulk diffusion in a glassy matrix at low temperature.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 02/2015; 119(19). DOI:10.1021/jp510489z · 2.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phase transitions of nanoparticles are of fundamental importance in atmospheric sciences, but current understanding is insufficient to explain observations at the nano-scale. In particular, discrepancies exist between observations and model predictions of deliquescence and efflorescence transitions and the hygroscopic growth of salt nanoparticles. Here we show that these discrepancies can be resolved by consideration of particle size effects with consistent thermodynamic data. We present a new method for the determination of water and solute activities and interfacial energies in highly supersaturated aqueous solution droplets (Differential Köhler Analysis). Our analysis reveals that particle size can strongly alter the characteristic concentration of phase separation in mixed systems, resembling the influence of temperature. Owing to similar effects, atmospheric secondary organic aerosol particles at room temperature are expected to be always liquid at diameters below ~20 nm. We thus propose and demonstrate that particle size should be included as an additional dimension in the equilibrium phase diagram of aerosol nanoparticles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Particles containing black carbon (BC), a strong absorbing substance, exert a rather uncertain direct and indirect radiative forcing in the atmosphere. To investigate the mass concentration and absorption properties of BC particles over central Europe, the model WRF-Chem was used at a resolution of 12 km in conjunction with a high-resolution BC emission inventory (EUCAARI 42-Pan-European Carbonaceous Aerosol Inventory; 1/8° × 1/16°). The model simulation was evaluated using measurements of equivalent soot carbon, absorption coefficients and particle number concentrations at seven sites within the German Ultrafine Aerosol Network, PM