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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-172
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-172
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 22 Feb 2019

Submitted as: research article | 22 Feb 2019

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

Influence of the dry aerosol particle size distribution and morphology on the cloud condensation nuclei activation. An experimental and theoretical investigation

Junteng Wu1, Alessandro Faccinetto1, Symphorien Grimonprez1, Sébastien Batut1, Jérôme Yon2, Pascale Desgroux1, and Denis Petitprez1 Junteng Wu et al.
  • 1Lille Univ., CNRS PC2A, 59000 Lille, France
  • 2Normandie Univ., INSA Rouen, UNIROUEN, CNRS CORIA, 76000 Rouen, France

Abstract. The modern parametrization of the classical theory of nucleation (κ-Kӧhler theory) implicitly assumes a Dirac delta distribution to model the density of ideal spherical point size dry particles and droplets. However, anthropogenic activities like combustion or other high temperature processes frequently result in the emission of aerosols in the form of polydisperse fractal-like aggregates composed of condensed phase nanoparticles (for instance soot). If certain conditions are met, the emitted particles are known to evolve into important cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the atmosphere, however their behavior as CCN can deviate significantly from theoretical predictions. In this work, an extension of κ-Kӧhler theory is proposed that takes into account the effect of the size distribution and particle morphology on the activation of the aerosol dry particles. A theoretical and experimental approach are combined to derive the dependence of the activated fraction on supersaturation Fa = Fa(SS) on parameters that describe the size distribution and morphology of the particles like the geometric standard deviation and the fractal dimension of the aggregates. The model is tested on two different aerosols, a simple case of isolated quasi-spherical ammonium sulfate particles generated by atomization, and complex morphology soot aggregates generated by a laboratory diffusion jet flame.

Junteng Wu et al.
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Junteng Wu et al.
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Short summary
Soot particles released during anthropogenic activities may lead to positive direct or negative indirect climate forcing depending on their aging in the atmosphere. The latter occurs whenever soot particles act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and trigger the formation of persistent clouds. Herein, we investigate the impact of the size distribution and morphology of freshly emitted soot particles on their aging process, and propose a model to quantitatively predict their efficiency as CCN.
Soot particles released during anthropogenic activities may lead to positive direct or negative...
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