Understanding the Role of Water in Modifying Particle Mixing States for CCN Activity

Friday, 19 December 2014
Diep Ngoc Vu1, Shaokai Gao2, Jeffrey R Pierce3 and Akua A Asa-Awuku1, (1)University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA, United States, (2)Phillips 66 Company, Bartlesville, OK, United States, (3)Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States
CCN data sets from ambient and chamber studies, which consist of complex heterogeneous mixtures of organic and inorganic aerosol mixtures, may not show a single activation curve but instead can exhibit multiple activations not associated with doubly charged particles. It has been suggested that these activation curves may be representative of multiple externally mixed compounds, whereas single activation curves are representative of single component or multicomponent internally mixed aerosols.

To characterize and modify mixing states, a new laminar flow tube apparatus was developed to control the extent of mixing of organic and inorganic fractions under different environmental conditions such as relative humidity. Data sets yielding multiple activation curves have been recreated by mixing multiple inorganic and organic compounds. Preliminary results suggest that aerosol water is a significant factor; under dry conditions, the aerosols remained externally mixed while humid conditions facilitated internal mixing. For example, ammonium sulfate (inorganic) and succinic acid (organic) when dry, maintained an external mixture and multiple activation curves were observed to be constant. Under humid conditions, external mixing was initially observed; however, the aerosol water promoted internal mixing and the activation curves were observed to converge into a single curve. The data agrees well with Köhler Theory and single parameter (kappa) theory thermodynamic predictions of droplet activation. Data sets are also compared with a diffusion based coagulation particle model to predict mixing behavior. The method of analysis and the effect of mixing states of multiple components on the supersaturated hygroscopic properties of aerosols are presented.