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Contributions of volatile and nonvolatile compounds (at 300 degrees C) to condensational growth of atmospheric nanoparticles: An assessment based on 8.5 years of observations at the Central Europe background site Melpitz

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Z. B. Wang
W. Birmili
A. Hamed
B. Wehner
G. Spindler
Xiangyu Pei
Z. J. Wu
Y. F. Cheng
H. Su
A. Wiedensohler
Publicerad i Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres
Volym 122
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 485-497
ISSN 2169-897X
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för kemi och molekylärbiologi
Sidor 485-497
Språk en
Länkar doi.org/10.1002/2016jd025581
Ämnesord number size distributions, sulfuric-acid concentration, nucleation mode, particles, long-term observations, organic-compounds, aerosol-particles, boreal forest, free troposphere, formation events, boundary-layer, Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Ämneskategorier Meteorologi och atmosfärforskning


Long-term measurements of particle number size distributions in combination with thermodenuder analysis have been performed since July 2003 at the Central European station of Melpitz, Germany. Up to the end of 2011, 20% of all investigated days during the 8.5 years of measurements showed new particle formation and subsequent growth. To investigate the role of various chemical compound candidates for condensational nanoparticle growth, we focused on nucleation events in which the measured size distributions with and without thermodesorption both showed growth patterns (accounting for up to similar to 85% of all nucleation events). In this study, particulate compounds that volatilize at 300 degrees C were specifically defined as "volatile," in contrast to "nonvolatile" compounds, which remain in the particulate phase after being heated to 300 degrees C. A strong correlation between ambient temperature and growth rate associated with volatile substances (except gaseous sulfuric acid) was found, which implies the importance of organics (possibly oxidized biogenic organic compounds) in particle growth at Melpitz. The contributions of the volatile compounds to the growth rate due to condensation of gaseous sulfuric acid and organics were found to be about 19% and 47%, respectively. The remaining similar to 25% was attributed to nonvolatile residuals, which appear to form gradually during the particle growth process and are characterized as extremely low-volatility compounds. The growth rate associated with volatile components exhibited significant seasonal variation, with the highest value during summertime, whereas the growth rate associated with the nonvolatile fraction showed less fluctuation.

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