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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-394
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-394
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 May 2018

Research article | 07 May 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

CCN activity of six pollenkitts and the influence of their surface activity

Nønne L. Prisle1,2,3,4, Jack J. Lin1,3, Sara K. Purdue3, Haisheng Lin4, J. Carson Meredith4, and Athanasios Nenes3,4,5,6 Nønne L. Prisle et al.
  • 1University of Oulu, Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, P.O. Box 3000, 90014, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  • 2University of Helsinki, Department of Physics, P.O. Box 64, 00014, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, 311 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
  • 4Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, 311 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
  • 5Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICE-HT), Foundation for Research, Patras, 26504, Greece
  • 6Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, 15236, Athens, Greece

Abstract. Pollenkitt is a viscous material that coats grains of pollen and plays important roles in pollen dispersion and plant reproduction. It may also be an important contributor to pollen water uptake and CCN activity. The chemical composition of pollenkitt varies between species, but has been found to comprise complex organic mixtures including oxygenated, lipid, and aliphatic functionalities. The mix of functionalities suggests that pollenkitt may display aqueous surface activity, which could significantly impact pollen interactions with atmospheric water. Here, we study the surface activity of pollenkitt from six different species and its impact on pollenkitt hygroscopicity. We measure cloud activation and concentration dependent surface tension of pollenkitt and its mixtures with ammonium sulfate salt. Experiments are compared to predictions from several thermodynamic models, taking aqueous surface tension reduction and surfactant surface partitioning into account in various ways. We find a clear reduction of surface tension by pollenkitt in aqueous solution and evidence for impact of both surface tension and surface partitioning mechanisms on cloud activation potential and hygroscopicity. In addition, we find indication of significant impact of complex non-ideal solution effects in systematic and consistent size dependency of pollenkitt hygroscopicity.

Nønne L. Prisle et al.
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Nønne L. Prisle et al.
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Short summary
We measured surface activity and cloud forming potential of pollenkitt, an organic mixture coating pollen grains. Analysis using four different models to represent surface activity show that cloud droplet formation is affected through both surface tension and droplet depletion, with a consistent particle size dependent signature. We observe non-ideal solution effects in pollenkitt mixtures with ammonium sulfate salt, which suggest a sensitivity of cloud formation by pollen to atmospheric aging.
We measured surface activity and cloud forming potential of pollenkitt, an organic mixture...
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