Measurement report: Cloud condensation nuclei activity and its variation with organic oxidation level and volatility observed during an aerosol life cycle intensive operational period (ALC-IOP).

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Date: Sept. 2, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 17)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 340 words

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Abstract :

Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) spectrum and the CCN activated fraction of size-resolved aerosols (SR-CCN) were measured at a rural site on Long Island during the Department of Energy (DOE) aerosol life cycle intensive operational period (ALC-IOP) from 15 July to 15 August 2011. During the last week of the ALC-IOP, the dependence of the activated fraction on aerosol volatility was characterized by sampling downstream of a thermodenuder (TD) operated at temperatures up to 100 .sup." C. Here we present aerosol properties, including aerosol total number concentration, CCN spectrum, and the CCN hygroscopicity, for air masses of representative origins during the ALC-IOP. The hygroscopicity of organic species in the aerosol is derived from CCN hygroscopicity and chemical composition. The dependence of organic hygroscopicity on the organic oxidation level (e.g., atomic O:C ratio) agrees well with theoretical predictions and results from previous laboratory and field studies. The derived κ and O:C ratio first increase as TD temperature increases from 20 .sup." C (i.e., ambient temperature) to 50 or 75 .sup." C and then decrease as TD temperature further increases to 100 .sup." C. The initial increases of O:C and κ with TD temperature below 50 .sup." C are likely due to evaporation of more volatile organics with relatively lower O:C and hygroscopicity such as primary organic aerosol. At the high TD temperatures, the decreases of O:C and κ indicate that evaporated organics were more oxygenated and had lower molecular weights. These trends are different from previous laboratory experiments and field observations, which reported that organic O:C increased monotonically with increasing TD temperature, whereas κ decreased with the TD temperature. One possible reason is that previous studies were either focused on laboratory-generated secondary organic aerosol (SOA) or based on field observations at locations more dominated by SOA.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A674089847