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Title: Development and Rigorous Validation of Modules for Predicting Organic Aerosol CCN Activity from Molecular Properties

Abstract

The indirect interaction of anthropogenic aerosols with clouds (aerosol indirect forcing) represents one of the main uncertainties in climate projections, and reducing this uncertainty requires improved understanding of the aerosol life cycle, including atmospheric aging and the ability to nucleate cloud droplets or crystals. A key parameter that links the chemical properties of aerosol to its nucleating properties, and ultimately to aerosol indirect forcing, is its hygroscopicity (ability to uptake water). One way to compare and systematize the ability of various chemical compounds or particle types to nucleate cloud drops is via the hygroscopicity parameter κ, which can be used directly in global models to simulate aerosol indirect forcing. In this project we further investigated the relationships between the chemical composition of organic aerosol particles, which are known to be important components of atmospheric particulate matter, and their ability to serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). In particular, we isolated the role of viscosity on κ by applying methods similar to those we used previously in our DOE/ASR research. Our motivation for the focus on viscosity was through its link to particle phase state. Particle phase affects water uptake on timescales relevant to the laboratory and also likely relevant tomore » atmospheric processes, with reduced apparent hygroscopicities for semisolid and solid particles, compared with liquid particles. Water uptake itself affects viscosity, an important feedback that we explored in this project. The objectives of the project were as follows: (1) measure the effects of molecular structure, temperature, and relative humidity on the viscosity of organic aerosol formed via controlled laboratory experiments, (2) measure the effects of organic aerosol viscosity on water uptake and CCN activity above and below water saturation, (3) further develop the κ parameterization of organic aerosol hygroscopicity to include viscosity/phase, and (4) experimentally validate the κ parameterization for organic aerosol with chemical composition ranging from relatively simple to complex. It was proposed that particle viscosity exerts a kinetic control on equilibrium water uptake. High viscosity was expected to delay water uptake based on diffusional limitations. This would manifest itself in reduced observed CCN activity or κ. Understanding the interplay between water content and viscosity (composition control on particle viscosity) and between viscosity and equilibrium water content (diffusional control on water uptake) were the overall science objectives of this grant. Targeted experiments were carried out to test the kinetic control hypothesis. These experiments included studies that explicitly measured the equilibration time scale of water uptake, and experiments that tested the role of viscous particle coatings on the observed CCN activity. From the combined work, it is concluded that mass transfer limitations by glassy organic particles are unlikely to affect cloud droplet activation near laboratory temperatures. This implies that viscosity does not need to be included in parameterizations that link particle chemical composition and κ. A parameterization to predict κ through the UNIFAC group contribution method was developed with previous ASR funding. As planned, this computational module was further developed and validated here through targeted laboratory studies. The computational module has been made available as free software under the GNU public license. A database of κ-values to aid model development has been compiled and is available online via an open access model. In conducting this work, significant effort was made to understand how aerosol composition, including the associated aerosol water content, affects viscosity. This included a study detailing the influence of functional group composition on organic aerosol viscosity. We identified a strong link between volatility and viscosity. Functional groups responsible for low vapor pressure also promote high viscosity. Specifically, carboxylic acid and hydroxyl groups were identified as major contributors to high viscosity. Several studies were carried out to characterize the link between composition and the glass-to-liquid phase transition. Compositions tested include models of organic/inorganic particles and models of complex organic aerosol formed through secondary processes. A simple computational model to predict the amorphous phase diagram was developed and tested. Excellent agreement between model and measurements was obtained for organic/inorganic mixtures. The computational model is simple enough to be included in global model simulations. However, constraints of input parameters such as the Gordon-Taylor constant for binary mixtures for a wide range of complex mixtures have not yet been fully evaluated. Combined, the performed work provides new constraints on the amorphous phase state of organic aerosols.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. University of Colorado Boulder
  2. North Carolina State University
  3. Colorado State University
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of Colorado Boulder
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Biological Systems Science Division
OSTI Identifier:
1467903
Report Number(s):
DOE-CUB-12043
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0012043
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; aerosols, viscosity, clouds, atmospheric chemistry

Citation Formats

Ziemann, Paul J, Petters, Markus D, and Kreidenweis, Sonia M. Development and Rigorous Validation of Modules for Predicting Organic Aerosol CCN Activity from Molecular Properties. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1467903.
Ziemann, Paul J, Petters, Markus D, & Kreidenweis, Sonia M. Development and Rigorous Validation of Modules for Predicting Organic Aerosol CCN Activity from Molecular Properties. United States. doi:10.2172/1467903.
Ziemann, Paul J, Petters, Markus D, and Kreidenweis, Sonia M. Fri . "Development and Rigorous Validation of Modules for Predicting Organic Aerosol CCN Activity from Molecular Properties". United States. doi:10.2172/1467903. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1467903.
@article{osti_1467903,
title = {Development and Rigorous Validation of Modules for Predicting Organic Aerosol CCN Activity from Molecular Properties},
author = {Ziemann, Paul J and Petters, Markus D and Kreidenweis, Sonia M},
abstractNote = {The indirect interaction of anthropogenic aerosols with clouds (aerosol indirect forcing) represents one of the main uncertainties in climate projections, and reducing this uncertainty requires improved understanding of the aerosol life cycle, including atmospheric aging and the ability to nucleate cloud droplets or crystals. A key parameter that links the chemical properties of aerosol to its nucleating properties, and ultimately to aerosol indirect forcing, is its hygroscopicity (ability to uptake water). One way to compare and systematize the ability of various chemical compounds or particle types to nucleate cloud drops is via the hygroscopicity parameter κ, which can be used directly in global models to simulate aerosol indirect forcing. In this project we further investigated the relationships between the chemical composition of organic aerosol particles, which are known to be important components of atmospheric particulate matter, and their ability to serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). In particular, we isolated the role of viscosity on κ by applying methods similar to those we used previously in our DOE/ASR research. Our motivation for the focus on viscosity was through its link to particle phase state. Particle phase affects water uptake on timescales relevant to the laboratory and also likely relevant to atmospheric processes, with reduced apparent hygroscopicities for semisolid and solid particles, compared with liquid particles. Water uptake itself affects viscosity, an important feedback that we explored in this project. The objectives of the project were as follows: (1) measure the effects of molecular structure, temperature, and relative humidity on the viscosity of organic aerosol formed via controlled laboratory experiments, (2) measure the effects of organic aerosol viscosity on water uptake and CCN activity above and below water saturation, (3) further develop the κ parameterization of organic aerosol hygroscopicity to include viscosity/phase, and (4) experimentally validate the κ parameterization for organic aerosol with chemical composition ranging from relatively simple to complex. It was proposed that particle viscosity exerts a kinetic control on equilibrium water uptake. High viscosity was expected to delay water uptake based on diffusional limitations. This would manifest itself in reduced observed CCN activity or κ. Understanding the interplay between water content and viscosity (composition control on particle viscosity) and between viscosity and equilibrium water content (diffusional control on water uptake) were the overall science objectives of this grant. Targeted experiments were carried out to test the kinetic control hypothesis. These experiments included studies that explicitly measured the equilibration time scale of water uptake, and experiments that tested the role of viscous particle coatings on the observed CCN activity. From the combined work, it is concluded that mass transfer limitations by glassy organic particles are unlikely to affect cloud droplet activation near laboratory temperatures. This implies that viscosity does not need to be included in parameterizations that link particle chemical composition and κ. A parameterization to predict κ through the UNIFAC group contribution method was developed with previous ASR funding. As planned, this computational module was further developed and validated here through targeted laboratory studies. The computational module has been made available as free software under the GNU public license. A database of κ-values to aid model development has been compiled and is available online via an open access model. In conducting this work, significant effort was made to understand how aerosol composition, including the associated aerosol water content, affects viscosity. This included a study detailing the influence of functional group composition on organic aerosol viscosity. We identified a strong link between volatility and viscosity. Functional groups responsible for low vapor pressure also promote high viscosity. Specifically, carboxylic acid and hydroxyl groups were identified as major contributors to high viscosity. Several studies were carried out to characterize the link between composition and the glass-to-liquid phase transition. Compositions tested include models of organic/inorganic particles and models of complex organic aerosol formed through secondary processes. A simple computational model to predict the amorphous phase diagram was developed and tested. Excellent agreement between model and measurements was obtained for organic/inorganic mixtures. The computational model is simple enough to be included in global model simulations. However, constraints of input parameters such as the Gordon-Taylor constant for binary mixtures for a wide range of complex mixtures have not yet been fully evaluated. Combined, the performed work provides new constraints on the amorphous phase state of organic aerosols.},
doi = {10.2172/1467903},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}