Articles | Volume 10, issue 13
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 5873–5890, 2010
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 5873–5890, 2010

  02 Jul 2010

02 Jul 2010

Thermodynamic properties and cloud droplet activation of a series of oxo-acids

M. Frosch1, A. A. Zardini1, S. M. Platt1, L. Müller2, M.-C. Reinnig2, T. Hoffmann2, and M. Bilde1 M. Frosch et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 5, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Duesbergweg 10–14, 55128 Mainz, Germany

Abstract. We have investigated the thermodynamic properties of four aliphatic oxo-dicarboyxlic acids identified or thought to be present in atmospheric particulate matter: oxosuccinic acid, 2-oxoglutaric acid, 3-oxoglutaric acid, and 4-oxopimelic acid. The compounds were characterized in terms of their cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity, vapor pressure, density, and tendency to decarboxylate in aqueous solution. We deployed a variety of experimental techniques and instruments: a CCN counter, a Tandem Differential Mobililty Analyzer (TDMA) coupled with a laminar flow-tube, and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS). The presence of the oxo functional group in the α-position causes the vapor pressure of the compounds to diminish by an order of magnitude with respect to the parent dicarboxylic acid, while the CCN activity is similar or increased. Dicarboxylic acids with an oxo-group in the β-position decarboxylate in aqueous solution. We studied the effects of this process on our measurements and findings.

Final-revised paper