Articles | Volume 13, issue 2
Research article
28 Jan 2013
Research article |  | 28 Jan 2013

A single parameter representation of hygroscopic growth and cloud condensation nucleus activity – Part 3: Including surfactant partitioning

M. D. Petters and S. M. Kreidenweis

Abstract. Atmospheric particles can serve as cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere. The presence of surface active compounds in the particle may affect the critical supersaturation that is required to activate a particle. Modelling surfactants in the context of Köhler theory, however, is difficult because surfactant enrichment at the surface implies that a stable radial concentration gradient must exist in the droplet. In this study, we introduce a hybrid model that accounts for partitioning between the bulk and surface phases in the context of single parameter representations of cloud condensation nucleus activity. The presented formulation incorporates analytical approximations of surfactant partitioning to yield a set of equations that maintain the conceptual and mathematical simplicity of the single parameter framework. The resulting set of equations allows users of the single parameter model to account for surfactant partitioning by applying minor modifications to already existing code.

Final-revised paper