Hygroscopic properties and cloud condensation nuclei activation of limonene-derived organosulfates and their mixtures with ammonium sulfate
- 1Department of Chemistry and iNANO, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
- 2Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
- 3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
- 4Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Abstract. Organosulfates have been observed as constituents of atmospheric aerosols in a wide range of environments; however their hygroscopic properties remain uncharacterised. Here, limonene-derived organosulfates with a molecular weight of 250 Da (L-OS 250) were synthesised and used for simultaneous measurements with a hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyser (H-TDMA) and a cloud condensation nuclei counter (CCNC) to determine the hygroscopicity parameter, κ, for pure L-OS 250 and mixtures of L-OS 250 with ammonium sulfate (AS) over a wide range of humidity conditions. The κ values derived from measurements with H-TDMA decreased with increasing particle dry diameter for all chemical compositions investigated, indicating that κH-TDMA depends on particle diameter and/or surface effects; however, it is not clear if this trend is statistically significant. For pure L-OS 250, κ was found to increase with increasing relative humidity, indicating dilution/solubility effects to be significant. Discrepancies in κ between the sub- and supersaturated measurements were observed for L-OS 250, whereas κ of AS and mixed L-OS 250/AS were similar. This discrepancy was primarily ascribed to limited dissolution of L-OS 250 at subsaturated conditions. In general, hygroscopic growth factor, critical particle diameter and κ for the mixed L-OS 250/AS particles converged towards the values of pure AS for mixtures with ≥ 20 % w / w AS. Surface tension measurements of bulk aqueous L-OS 250/AS solutions showed that L-OS 250 was indeed surface active, as expected from its molecular structure, decreasing the surface tension of solutions with 24 % from the pure water value at a L-OS 250 concentration of 0.0025 mol L−1. Based on these surface tension measurements, we present the first concentration-dependent parametrisation of surface tension for aqueous L-OS 250, which was implemented to different process-level models of L-OS 250 hygroscopicity and CCN activation. The values of κ obtained from the measurements were compared with κ calculated applying the volume additive Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson mixing rule, as well as κ modelled from equilibrium Köhler theory with different assumptions regarding L-OS 250 bulk-to-surface partitioning and aqueous droplet surface tension. This study is to our knowledge the first to investigate the hygroscopic properties and surface activity of L-OS 250; hence it is an important first step towards understanding the atmospheric impact of organosulfates.