Sulfuric acid nucleation: An experimental study of the effect of seven bases

W. A. Glasoe, K. Volz, B. Panta, N. Freshour, R. Bachman, D. R. Hanson, P. H. McMurry, C. Jen

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Nucleation of particles with sulfuric acid, water, and nitrogeneous bases was studied in a flow reactor. Sulfuric acid and water levels were set by flows over sulfuric acid and water reservoirs, respectively, and the base concentrations were determined from measured permeation rates and flow dilution ratios. Particle number distributionsweremeasured with a nano-differential-mobility-analyzer system. Results indicate that the nucleation capability of NH3, methylamine, dimethylamine, and trimethylamine with sulfuric acid increases from NH3 as the weakest, methylamine next, and dimethylamine and trimethylamine the strongest. Three other bases were studied, and experiments with triethylamine showed that it is less effective than methylamine, and experiments with urea and acetamide showed that their capabilities are much lower than the amines with acetamide having basically no effect. When both NH3 and an amine were present, nucleation was more strongly enhanced than with just the amine present. Comparisons of nucleation rates to predictions and previous experimental work are discussed, and the sulfuric acid-base nucleation rates measured here are extrapolated to atmospheric conditions. The measurements suggest that atmospheric nucleation rates are significantly affected by synergistic interactions between ammonia and amines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1933-1950
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015

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© 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


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