Hygroscopic properties of Amazonian biomass burning and European background HULIS and investigation of their effects on surface tension with two models linking H-TDMA to CCNC data
Abstract. HUmic-LIke Substances (HULIS) have been identified as major contributors to the organic carbon in atmospheric aerosol. The term "HULIS" is used to describe the organic material found in aerosol particles that resembles the humic organic material in rivers and sea water and in soils. In this study, two sets of filter samples from atmospheric aerosols were collected at different sites. One set of samples was collected at the K-puszta rural site in Hungary, about 80 km SE of Budapest, and a second was collected at a site in Rondônia, Amazonia, Brazil, during the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia – Smoke Aerosols, Clouds, Rainfall and Climate (LBA-SMOCC) biomass burning season experiment. HULIS were extracted from the samples and their hygroscopic properties were studied using a Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer (H-TDMA) at relative humidity (RH) <100%, and a cloud condensation nucleus counter (CCNC) at RH >100%. The H-TDMA measurements were carried out at a dry diameter of 100 nm and for RH ranging from 30 to 98%. At 90% RH the HULIS samples showed diameter growth factors between 1.04 and 1.07, reaching values of 1.4 at 98% RH. The cloud nucleating properties of the two sets of aerosol samples were analysed using two types of thermal static cloud condensation nucleus counters. Two different parameterization models were applied to investigate the potential effect of HULIS surface activity, both yielding similar results. For the K-puszta winter HULIS sample, the surface tension at the point of activation was estimated to be lowered by between 34% (47.7 mN/m) and 31% (50.3 mN/m) for dry sizes between 50 and 120 nm in comparison to pure water. A moderate lowering was also observed for the entire water soluble aerosol sample, including both organic and inorganic compounds, where the surface tension was decreased by between 2% (71.2 mN/m) and 13% (63.3 mN/m).