Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 24813-24855, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
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Aerosol hygroscopic growth parameterization based on a solute specific coefficient
S. Metzger1, B. Steil1, L. Xu2, J. E. Penner2, and J. Lelieveld1,3
1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
2University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
3The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus

Abstract. Water is a main component of atmospheric aerosols and its amount depends on the particle chemical composition. We introduce a new parameterization for the aerosol hygroscopic growth factor (HGF), based on an empirical relation between water activity (aw) and solute molality (μs) through a single solute specific coefficient νi. Three main advantages are: (1) wide applicability, (2) simplicity and (3) analytical nature. (1) Our approach considers the Kelvin effect and covers ideal solutions at large relative humidity (RH), including CCN activation, as well as concentrated solutions with high ionic strength at low RH such as the relative humidity of deliquescence (RHD). (2) A single νi coefficient suffices to parameterize the HGF for a wide range of particle sizes, from nanometer nucleation mode to micrometer coarse mode particles. (3) In contrast to previous methods, our analytical aw parameterization depends not only on a linear correction factor for the solute molality, instead νi also appears in the exponent in form x · ax. According to our findings, νi can be assumed constant for the entire aw range (0–1). Thus, the νi based method is computationally efficient. In this work we focus on single solute solutions, where νi is pre-determined with the bisection method from our analytical equations using RHD measurements and the saturation molality μssat. The computed aerosol HGF and supersaturation (Köhler-theory) compare well with the results of the thermodynamic reference model E-AIM for the key compounds NaCl and (NH4)2SO4 relevant for CCN modeling and calibration studies. The equations introduced here provide the basis of our revised gas-liquid-solid partitioning model, i.e. version 4 of the EQuilibrium Simplified Aerosol Model (EQSAM4), described in a companion paper.

Citation: Metzger, S., Steil, B., Xu, L., Penner, J. E., and Lelieveld, J.: Aerosol hygroscopic growth parameterization based on a solute specific coefficient, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 24813-24855, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-24813-2011, 2011.
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