29 Mar 2022
29 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Hygroscopicity and CCN potential of DMS derived aerosol particles

Bernadette Rosati1,2, Sini Isokääntä3, Sigurd Christiansen1,4,5, Mads Mørk Jensen1, Shamjad P. Moosakutty1,6, Robin Wollesen de Jonge1,7, Andreas Massling8, Marianne Glasius1, Jonas Elm1, Annele Virtanen3, and Merete Bilde1 Bernadette Rosati et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 2Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 3Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • 4Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Faroe Islands, Faroe Islands
  • 5Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • 6Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar
  • 7Division of Nuclear Physics, Lund University, Sweden
  • 8Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Abstract. Dimethyl sulphide (DMS) is emitted by phytoplankton species in the oceans and constitutes the largest source of naturally emitted sulphur to the atmosphere. The climate impact of secondary particles, formed through the oxidation of DMS by hydroxyl radicals, is still elusive. This study investigates the hygroscopicity and cloud condensation nuclei activity of such particles and discusses the results in relation to their chemical composition. We show that mean hygroscopicity parameters, κ, during an experiment for particles of 80 nm in diameter range from 0.46 to 0.52 as measured at both sub- and supersaturated water vapour conditions. Ageing of the particles leads to an increase in κ from for example 0.50–0.58 over the course of 3 hours (Exp. 7). Aerosol mass spectrometer measurements from this study indicate that this change most probably stems from a change in chemical composition leading to slightly higher fractions of ammonium sulphate compared to methanesulfonic acid (MSA) within the particles with ageing time. Lowering the temperature to 258 K increases κ slightly, particularly for small particles. These κ-values are well comparable to previously reported model values for MSA or mixtures between MSA and ammonium sulphate. Particle nucleation and growth rates suggest a clear temperature dependence, with slower rates at cold temperatures. Quantum chemical calculations show that gas-phase MSA clusters are predominantly not hydrated even at high humidity conditions indicating that their gas-phase chemistry should be independent of relative humidity.

Bernadette Rosati 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-2022-188', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-188', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 May 2022

Bernadette Rosati et al.

Bernadette Rosati et al.


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Short summary
Sulphate aerosols have a strong influence on climate. Due to the reduction in sulphur-based fossil fuels, natural sulphur emissions play an increasingly important role. Studies investigating the climate relevance of natural sulphur aerosols are scarce. We study the water uptake of such particles in the laboratory, demonstrating a high potential to take up water and form cloud droplets. During atmospheric transit, chemical processing affects the particles’ composition and thus their water uptake.