Articles | Volume 7, issue 19
12 Oct 2007
12 Oct 2007

Inferring thermodynamic properties from CCN activation experiments: single-component and binary aerosols

L. T. Padró, A. Asa-Awuku, R. Morrison, and A. Nenes

Abstract. This study presents a new method, Köhler Theory Analysis (KTA), to infer the molar volume and solubility of organic aerosol constituents. The method is based on measurements of surface tension, chemical composition, and CCN activity coupled with Köhler theory. KTA is evaluated by inferring the molar volume of six known organics (four dicarboxylic acids, one amino acid, and one sugar) in pure form and in mixtures with ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4). The average error in inferred molar volumes are to within 18% of their expected value for organic fractions between 50 and 90%. This suggests that KTA is a potentially powerful tool for determining the CCN characteristic of ambient water soluble organic carbon (WSOC), providing physically-based constraints for aerosol-cloud interaction parameterizations.

Final-revised paper