Year of publication
- 2012 (2) (remove)
- Evolution of particle composition in CLOUD nucleation experiments (2012)
- Sulphuric acid, ammonia, amines, and oxidised organics play a crucial role in nanoparticle formation in the atmosphere. In this study, we investigate the composition of nucleated nanoparticles formed from these compounds in the CLOUD chamber experiments at CERN. The investigation is carried out via analysis of the particle hygroscopicity, ethanol affinity, oxidation state, and ion composition. Hygroscopicity was studied by a hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyser and a cloud condensation nuclei counter, ethanol affinity by an organic differential mobility analyser and particle oxidation level by a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer. The ion composition was studied by an atmospheric pressure interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The volume fraction of the organics in the particles during their growth from sizes of a few nanometers to tens of nanometers was derived from measured hygroscopicity assuming the Zdanovski-Stokes-Robinson relationship, and compared to values gained from the spectrometers. The ZSR-relationship was also applied to obtain the measured ethanol affinities during the particle growth, which were used to derive the volume fractions of sulphuric acid and the other inorganics (e.g. ammonium salts). In the presence of sulphuric acid and ammonia, particles with a mobility diameter of 150 nm were chemically neutralised to ammonium sulphate. In the presence of oxidation products of pinanediol, the organic volume fraction of freshly nucleated particles increased from 0.4 to ∼0.9, with an increase in diameter from 2 to 63 nm. Conversely, the sulphuric acid volume fraction decreased from 0.6 to 0.1 when the particle diameter increased from 2 to 50 nm. The results provide information on the composition of nucleated aerosol particles during their growth in the presence of various combinations of sulphuric acid, ammonia, dimethylamine and organic oxidation products.
- Numerical simulations of mixing conditions and aerosol dynamics in the CERN CLOUD chamber (2012)
- To study the effect of galactic cosmic rays on aerosols and clouds, the Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) project was established. Experiments are carried out at a 26.1 m3 tank at CERN (Switzerland). In the experiments, the effect of ionizing radiation on H2SO4 particle formation and growth is investigated. To evaluate the experimental configuration, the experiment was simulated using a coupled multidimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) – particle model. In the model the coupled fields of gas/vapor species, temperature, flow velocity and particle properties were computed to investigate mixing state and mixing times of the CLOUD tank's contents. Simulation results show that a 1-fan configuration, as used in first experiments, may not be sufficient to ensure a homogeneously mixed chamber. To mix the tank properly, two fans and sufficiently high fan speeds are necessary. The 1/e response times for instantaneous changes of wall temperature and saturation ratio were found to be in the order of few minutes. Particle nucleation and growth was also simulated and particle number size distribution properties of the freshly nucleated particles (particle number, mean size, standard deviation of the assumed log-normal distribution) were found to be distributed over the tank's volume similar to the gas species.