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    Ion-particle interactions during particle formation and growth at a coniferous forest site in central Europe
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Gonser, S.G.; Klein, F.; Birmili, W.; Größ, J.; Kulmala, M.; Manninen, H.E.; Wiedensohler, A.; Held, A.
    In this work, we examined the interaction of ions and neutral particles during atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) events. The analysis is based on simultaneous field measurements of atmospheric ions and total particles using a neutral cluster and air ion spectrometer (NAIS) across the diameter range 2–25 nm. The Waldstein research site is located in a spruce forest in NE Bavaria, Southern Germany, known for enhanced radon concentrations, presumably leading to elevated ionization rates. Our observations show that the occurrence of the ion nucleation mode preceded that of the total particle nucleation mode during all analyzed NPF events. The time difference between the appearance of 2 nm ions and 2 nm total particles was typically about 20 to 30 min. A cross correlation analysis showed a rapid decrease of the time difference between the ion and total modes during the growth process. Eventually, this time delay vanished when both ions and total particles did grow to larger diameters. Considering the growth rates of ions and total particles separately, total particles exhibited enhanced growth rates at diameters below 15 nm. This observation cannot be explained by condensation or coagulation, because these processes would act more efficiently on charged particles compared to neutral particles. To explain our observations, we propose a mechanism including recombination and attachment of continuously present cluster ions with the ion nucleation mode and the neutral nucleation mode, respectively.
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    Hydroxymethanesulfonic acid in size-segregated aerosol particles at nine sites in Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Scheinhardt, S.; van Pinxteren, D.; Müller, K.; Spindler, G.; Herrmann, H.
    In the course of two field campaigns, size-segregated particle samples were collected at nine sites in Germany, including traffic, urban, rural, marine and mountain sites. During the chemical characterisation of the samples some of them were found to contain an unknown substance that was later identified as hydroxymethanesulfonic acid (HMSA). HMSA is known to be formed during the reaction of S(IV) (HSO3− or SO32−) with formaldehyde in the aqueous phase. Due to its stability, HMSA can act as a reservoir species for S(IV) in the atmosphere and is therefore of interest for the understanding of atmospheric sulfur chemistry. However, no HMSA data are available for atmospheric particles from central Europe, and even on a worldwide scale data are scarce. Thus, the present study now provides a representative data set with detailed information on HMSA concentrations in size-segregated central European aerosol particles. HMSA mass concentrations in this data set were highly variable: HMSA was found in 224 out of 738 samples (30%), sometimes in high mass concentrations exceeding those of oxalic acid. On average over all 154 impactor runs, 31.5 ng m−3 HMSA was found in PM10, contributing 0.21% to the total mass. The results show that the particle diameter, the sampling location, the sampling season and the air mass origin impact the HMSA mass concentration. Highest concentrations were found in the particle fraction 0.42–1.2 μm, at urban sites, in winter and with eastern (continental) air masses, respectively. The results suggest that HMSA is formed during aging of pollution plumes. A positive correlation of HMSA with sulfate, oxalate and PM is found (R2 > 0.4). The results furthermore suggest that the fraction of HMSA in PM slightly decreases with increasing pH.
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    Particle hygroscopicity and its link to chemical composition in the urban atmosphere of Beijing, China, during summertime
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Wu, Z.J.; Zheng, J.; Shang, D.J.; Du, Z.F.; Wu, Y.S.; Zeng, L.M.; Wiedensohler, A.; Hu, M.
    Simultaneous measurements of particle number size distribution, particle hygroscopic properties, and size-resolved chemical composition were made during the summer of 2014 in Beijing, China. During the measurement period, the mean hygroscopicity parameters (κs) of 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 nm particles were respectively 0.16  ±  0.07, 0.19  ±  0.06, 0.22  ±  0.06, 0.26  ±  0.07, and 0.28  ±  0.10, showing an increasing trend with increasing particle size. Such size dependency of particle hygroscopicity was similar to that of the inorganic mass fraction in PM1. The hydrophilic mode (hygroscopic growth factor, HGF  >  1.2) was more prominent in growth factor probability density distributions and its dominance of hydrophilic mode became more pronounced with increasing particle size. When PM2.5 mass concentration was greater than 50 μg m−3, the fractions of the hydrophilic mode for 150, 250, and 350 nm particles increased towards 1 as PM2.5 mass concentration increased. This indicates that aged particles dominated during severe pollution periods in the atmosphere of Beijing. Particle hygroscopic growth can be well predicted using high-time-resolution size-resolved chemical composition derived from aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements using the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule. The organic hygroscopicity parameter (κorg) showed a positive correlation with the oxygen to carbon ratio. During the new particle formation event associated with strongly active photochemistry, the hygroscopic growth factor or κ of newly formed particles is greater than for particles with the same sizes not during new particle formation (NPF) periods. A quick transformation from external mixture to internal mixture for pre-existing particles (for example, 250 nm particles) was observed. Such transformations may modify the state of the mixture of pre-existing particles and thus modify properties such as the light absorption coefficient and cloud condensation nuclei activation.
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    Aerosol hygroscopicity derived from size-segregated chemical composition and its parameterization in the North China Plain
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Liu, H.J.; Zhao, C.S.; Nekat, B.; Ma, N.; Wiedensohler, A.; van Pinxteren, D.; Spindler, G.; Müller, K.; Herrmann, H.
    Hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles is of significant importance in quantifying the aerosol radiative effect in the atmosphere. In this study, hygroscopic properties of ambient particles are investigated based on particle chemical composition at a suburban site in the North China Plain during the HaChi campaign (Haze in China) in summer 2009. The size-segregated aerosol particulate mass concentration as well as the particle components such as inorganic ions, organic carbon and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) are identified from aerosol particle samples collected with a ten-stage impactor. An iterative algorithm is developed to evaluate the hygroscopicity parameter κ from the measured chemical composition of particles. During the HaChi summer campaign, almost half of the mass concentration of particles between 150 nm and 1 μm is contributed by inorganic species. Organic matter (OM) is abundant in ultrafine particles, and 77% of the particulate mass with diameter (Dp) of around 30 nm is composed of OM. A large fraction of coarse particle mass is undetermined and is assumed to be insoluble mineral dust and liquid water. The campaign's average size distribution of κ values shows three distinct modes: a less hygroscopic mode (Dp < 150 nm) with κ slightly above 0.2, a highly hygroscopic mode (150 nm < Dp < 1 μm) with κ greater than 0.3 and a nearly hydrophobic mode (Dp > 1 μm) with κ of about 0.1. The peak of the κ curve appears around 450 nm with a maximum value of 0.35. The derived κ values are consistent with results measured with a high humidity tandem differential mobility analyzer within the size range of 50–250 nm. Inorganics are the predominant species contributing to particle hygroscopicity, especially for particles between 150 nm and 1 μm. For example, NH4NO3, H2SO4, NH4HSO4 and (NH4)2SO4 account for nearly 90% of κ for particles of around 900 nm. For ultrafine particles, WSOC plays a critical role in particle hygroscopicity due to the predominant mass fraction of OM in ultrafine particles. WSOC for particles of around 30 nm contribute 52% of κ. Aerosol hygroscopicity is related to synoptic transport patterns. When southerly wind dominates, particles are more hygroscopic; when northerly wind dominates, particles are less hygroscopic. Aerosol hygroscopicity also has a diurnal variation, which can be explained by the diurnal evolution of planetary boundary layer, photochemical aging processes during daytime and enhanced black carbon emission at night. κ is highly correlated with mass fractions of SO42−, NO3− and NH4+ for all sampled particles as well as with the mass fraction of WSOC for particles of less than 100 nm. A parameterization scheme for κ is developed using mass fractions of SO42−, NO3−, NH4+ and WSOC due to their high correlations with κ, and κ calculated from the parameterization agrees well with κ derived from the particle's chemical composition. Further analysis shows that the parameterization scheme is applicable to other aerosol studies in China.
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    Diurnal variations of ambient particulate wood burning emissions and their contribution to the concentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Seiffen, Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Poulain, L.; Iinuma, Y.; Müller, K.; Birmili, W.; Weinhold, K.; Brüggemann, E.; Gnauk, T.; Hausmann, A.; Löschau, G.; Wiedensohler, A.; Herrmann, H.
    Residential wood burning is becoming an increasingly important cause of air quality problems since it has become a popular source of alternative energy to fossil fuel. In order to characterize the contribution of residential wood burning to local particle pollution, a field campaign was organized at the village of Seiffen (Saxony, Germany). During this campaign, an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) was deployed in parallel to a PM1 high volume filter sampler. The AMS mass spectra were analyzed using Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) to obtain detailed information about the organic aerosol (OA). Biomass-burning organic aerosol (BBOA), Hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA), and Oxygenated Organic Aerosol (OOA) were identified and represented 20%, 17% and 62% of total OA, respectively. Additionally, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) were measured by the AMS with an average concentration of 10 ng m−3 and short term events of extremely high PAH concentration (up to 500 ng m−3) compared to the mean PAH value were observed during the whole measurement period. A comparison with the results from PM1 filter samples showed that the BBOA factor and the AMS PAH are good indicators of the total concentration of the different monosaccharide anhydrides and PAH measured on the filter samples. Based on its low correlation with CO and the low car traffic, the HOA factor was considered to be related to residential heating using liquid fuel. An influence of the time of the week (week vs. weekend) on the diurnal profiles of the different OA components was observed. The weekdays were characterized by two maxima; a first one early in the morning and a stronger one in the evening. During the weekend days, the different OA components principally reached only one maximum in the afternoon. Finally, the PAH emitted directly from residential wood combustion was estimated to represent 1.5% of the total mass of the BBOA factor and around 62% of the total PAH concentration measured at Seiffen. This result highlights the important contribution of residential wood combustion to air quality and PAH emissions at the sampling place, which might have a significant impact on human health. Moreover, it also emphasizes the need for a better time resolution of the chemical characterization of toxic particulate compounds in order to provide more information on variations of the different sources through the days as well as to better estimate the real human exposure.
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    Recommendations for reporting "black carbon" measurements
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Petzold, A.; Ogren, J.A.; Fiebig, M.; Laj, P.; Li, S.-M.; Baltensperger, U.; Holzer-Popp, T.; Kinne, S.; Pappalardo, G.; Sugimoto, N.; Wehrli, C.; Wiedensohler, A.; Zhang, X.-Y.
    Although black carbon (BC) is one of the key atmospheric particulate components driving climate change and air quality, there is no agreement on the terminology that considers all aspects of specific properties, definitions, measurement methods, and related uncertainties. As a result, there is much ambiguity in the scientific literature of measurements and numerical models that refer to BC with different names and based on different properties of the particles, with no clear definition of the terms. The authors present here a recommended terminology to clarify the terms used for BC in atmospheric research, with the goal of establishing unambiguous links between terms, targeted material properties and associated measurement techniques.
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    Properties of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the trade wind marine boundary layer of the western North Atlantic
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Kristensen, Thomas B.; Müller, Thomas; Kandler, Konrad; Benker, Nathalie; Hartmann, Markus; Prospero, Joseph M.; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Stratmann, Frank
    Cloud optical properties in the trade winds over the eastern Caribbean Sea have been shown to be sensitive to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. The objective of the current study was to investigate the CCN properties in the marine boundary layer (MBL) in the tropical western North Atlantic, in order to assess the respective roles of inorganic sulfate, organic species, long-range transported mineral dust and sea-salt particles. Measurements were carried out in June–July 2013, on the east coast of Barbados, and included CCN number concentrations, particle number size distributions and offline analysis of sampled particulate matter (PM) and sampled accumulation mode particles for an investigation of composition and mixing state with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). During most of the campaign, significant mass concentrations of long-range transported mineral dust was present in the PM, and influence from local island sources can be ruled out. The CCN and particle number concentrations were similar to what can be expected in pristine marine environments. The hygroscopicity parameter κ was inferred, and values in the range 0.2–0.5 were found during most of the campaign, with similar values for the Aitken and the accumulation mode. The accumulation mode particles studied with TEM were dominated by non-refractory material, and concentrations of mineral dust, sea salt and soot were too small to influence the CCN properties. It is highly likely that the CCN were dominated by a mixture of sulfate species and organic compounds.
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    Effect of varying experimental conditions on the viscosity of α-pinene derived secondary organic material
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Grayson, James W.; Zhang, Yue; Mutzel, Anke; Renbaum-Wolff, Lindsay; Böge, Olaf; Kamal, Saeid; Herrmann, Hartmut; Martin, Scot T.; Bertram, Allan K.
    Knowledge of the viscosity of particles containing secondary organic material (SOM) is useful for predicting reaction rates and diffusion in SOM particles. In this study we investigate the viscosity of SOM particles as a function of relative humidity and SOM particle mass concentration, during SOM synthesis. The SOM was generated via the ozonolysis of α-pinene at < 5 % relative humidity (RH). Experiments were carried out using the poke-and-flow technique, which measures the experimental flow time (τexp, flow) of SOM after poking the material with a needle. In the first set of experiments, we show that τexp, flow increased by a factor of 3600 as the RH increased from < 0.5 RH to 50 % RH, for SOM with a production mass concentration of 121 µg m−3. Based on simulations, the viscosities of the particles were between 6  ×  105 and 5  ×  107 Pa s at < 0.5 % RH and between 3  ×  102 and 9  ×  103 Pa s at 50 % RH. In the second set of experiments we show that under dry conditions τexp, flow decreased by a factor of 45 as the production mass concentration increased from 121 to 14 000 µg m−3. From simulations of the poke-and-flow experiments, the viscosity of SOM with a production mass concentration of 14 000 µg m−3 was determined to be between 4  ×  104 and 1.5  ×  106 Pa s compared to between 6  ×  105 and 5  ×  107 Pa s for SOM with a production mass concentration of 121 µg m−3. The results can be rationalized by a dependence of the chemical composition of SOM on production conditions. These results emphasize the shifting characteristics of SOM, not just with RH and precursor type, but also with the production conditions, and suggest that production mass concentration and the RH at which the viscosity was determined should be considered both when comparing laboratory results and when extrapolating these results to the atmosphere.
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    Profiling of fine and coarse particle mass: Case studies of Saharan dust and Eyjafjallajökull/Grimsvötn volcanic plumes
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Ansmann, A.; Seifert, P.; Tesche, M.; Wandinger, U.
    The polarization lidar photometer networking (POLIPHON) method introduced to separate coarse-mode and fine-mode particle properties of Eyjafjallajökull volcanic aerosols in 2010 is extended to cover Saharan dust events as well. Furthermore, new volcanic dust observations performed after the Grimsvötn volcanic eruptions in 2011 are presented. The retrieval of particle mass concentrations requires mass-specific extinction coefficients. Therefore, a review of recently published mass-specific extinction coefficients for Saharan dust and volcanic dust is given. Case studies of four different scenarios corroborate the applicability of the profiling technique: (a) Saharan dust outbreak to central Europe, (b) Saharan dust plume mixed with biomass-burning smoke over Cape Verde, and volcanic aerosol layers originating from (c) the Eyjafjallajökull eruptions in 2010 and (d) the Grimsvötn eruptions in 2011. Strong differences in the vertical aerosol layering, aerosol mixing, and optical properties are observed for the different volcanic events.
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    Analysis of exceedances in the daily PM10 mass concentration (50 μg m−3) at a roadside station in Leipzig, Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Engler, C.; Birmili, W.; Spindler, G.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Five years of PM10 and PM2.5 ambient air measurements at a roadside, an urban, and a regional background site in Leipzig (Germany) were analyzed for violations of the legal PM10 limit value (EC, 1999). The annual mean PM10 concentrations at the three sites were well below the legal threshold of 40 μg m−3 (32.6, 22.0 and 21.7 μg m−3, respectively). At roadside, the daily maximum value of 50 μg m−3 was exceeded on 232 days (13% of all days) in 2005–2009, which led to a violation of the EC directive in three out of five years. We analysed the meteorological factors and local source contributions that eventually led to the exceedances of the daily limit value. As noted in other urban environments before, most exceedance days were observed in the cold season. Exceedance days were most probable under synoptic situations characterised by stagnant winds, low temperatures and strong temperature inversions in winter time. However, these extreme situations accounted for only less than half of the exeedance days. We also noticed a significant number of exceedance days that occurred in the cold season under south-westerly winds, and in the warm season in the presence of easterly winds. Our analysis suggests that local as well as regional sources of PM are equally responsible for exceedances days at the roadside site. The conclusion is that a combined effort of local, national and international reduction measures appears most likely to avoid systematic exceedances of the daily limit value in the future.