Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-571
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-571

  14 Jul 2021

14 Jul 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Effects of oligomerization and decomposition to the nanoparticle growth, a model study

Arto Heitto1, Kari Lehtinen1,2, Tuukka Petäjä3, Felipe Lopez-Hilfiker4,a, Joel A. Thornton4, Markku Kulmala3, and Taina Yli-Juuti1 Arto Heitto et al.
  • 1Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • 4Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, 98195 Seattle, WA, USA
  • aPresent address: Tofwerk AG, 3600 Thun, Switzerland

Abstract. The rate at which freshly formed secondary aerosol particles grow is an important factor in determining their climate impacts. The growth rate of atmospheric nanoparticles may be affected by particle phase oligomerization and decomposition of condensing organic molecules. We used Model for Oligomerization and Decomposition in Nanoparticle Growth (MODNAG) to investigate the potential atmospheric significance of these effects. This was done by conducting multiple simulations with varying reaction-related parameters (volatilities of the involved compounds and reaction rates) using both artificial and ambient measured gas phase concentrations of organic vapors to define the condensing vapors. While our study does not aim at providing information on any specific reaction, our results indicate that particle phase reactions have significant potential to affect the nanoparticle growth. In simulations where one-third of a volatility basis set bin was allowed to go through particle phase reactions the maximum increase in growth rates was 71 % and decrease 26 % compared to base case where no particle phase reactions were assumed to take place. These results highlight the importance of investigating and increasing our understanding of particle phase reactions.

Arto Heitto et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-571', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-571', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Sep 2021
  • AC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-571', Arto Heitto, 21 Oct 2021

Arto Heitto et al.

Arto Heitto et al.

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Short summary
When organic molecules condense on atmospheric nano-sized particles, they can combine forming larger molecules (oligomerization) or fragment to smaller molecules (decomposition). We investigated the effects of these reactions with particle growth model MODNAG and found out that they have potential to significantly affect the growth of atmospheric aerosol particles. These reactions are often excluded from growth models and it is important to increase our understanding of them.
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