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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
22 Nov 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Effect of thermodenuding on the structure of nascent flame soot aggregates
Janarjan Bhandari1, Swarup China1,a, Timothy Onasch2,3, Lindsay Wolff3, Andrew Lambe2,3, Paul Davidovits3, Eben Cross2, Adam Ahern4, Jason Olfert5, Manvendra Dubey6, and Claudio Mazzoleni1 1Department of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences Program, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, 49931, USA
2Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, MA, 01821, USA
3Chemistry Department, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467, USA
4Centre for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 15232, USA
5Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G8, Canada
6Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, 87545, USA
anow at: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, 99354, USA
Abstract. The optical properties (light scattering and absorption) of soot particles depend on soot size and index of refraction, but also on the soot complex morphology and the internal mixing with other material at the single particle level. For example, freshly emitted (nascent) soot particles can interact with other materials in the atmosphere, materials that can condense on soot and coat it. This coating can affect the soot optical properties by refracting light, or by changing the soot aggregate structure. A common approach to studying the effect of coating on soot optical properties is to measure absorption and scattering values in ambient air and then measure them again after removing the coating using a thermodenuder. In this approach, it is assumed that: 1) Most of the coating material is removed; 2) charred organic coating does not add to the refractory carbon; 3) oxidation of soot is negligible; and 4) the pre-existing core soot structure is left unaltered despite potential oxidation of the core at elevated temperature. In this study, we investigate the validity of the last assumption, by studying the effect of thermodenuding on the structure of nascent soot. To this end, we analyze the morphological properties of laboratory generated nascent soot, before and after thermodenuding. Our investigation shows that there is only minor restructuring of nascent soot by thermodenuding.

Citation: Bhandari, J., China, S., Onasch, T., Wolff, L., Lambe, A., Davidovits, P., Cross, E., Ahern, A., Olfert, J., Dubey, M., and Mazzoleni, C.: Effect of thermodenuding on the structure of nascent flame soot aggregates, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, 2016.
Janarjan Bhandari et al.
Janarjan Bhandari et al.
Janarjan Bhandari et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Soot particles emitted during the incomplete burning activities, absorb solar radiation and contribute to global warming. Light absorption by soot is also affected by its structure. To investigate whether the soot particle changes its structure or not, we used thermodenuding technique in which soot particles were passed through a heated tube (275 0C). Our study found only minor restructuring of soot suggesting no significant biases in absorption by the modification of soot structure alone.
Soot particles emitted during the incomplete burning activities, absorb solar radiation and...