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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-378
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-378
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Nov 2018

Research article | 12 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Aging aerosol in a well-mixed continuous flow tank reactor: An introduction of the activation time distribution

Franz Friebel and Amewu A. Mensah Franz Friebel and Amewu A. Mensah
  • Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, 8092, Switzerland

Abstract. Simulating atmospheric aging processes in the laboratory under atmospheric conditions typically requires large aerosol chambers (several m3) in order to achieve extended observation times. We developed an experimental approach that enables long observation times in small chamber volumes by operating the aerosol chamber in a Continuous Flow Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) mode. We present a mathematical framework which allows the retrieval of data beyond calculating mean values using the newly introduced metric activation time (tact). This concept was developed and successfully tested to characterize the change in cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity of soot particles due to heterogeneous oxidation with ozone. We show that this concept can be applied to other systems investigating non-gradual transitions. The change in CCN-activity was parameterized with tact and agreed well with theoretical predictions. Furthermore we show how tact can be applied for the analysis of data originating from other oxidation flow reactors widely used in atmospheric sciences. This concept allows to explain discrepancies found in intercomparison of different chambers.

Franz Friebel and Amewu A. Mensah
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Status: open (until 11 Jan 2019)
Status: open (until 11 Jan 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Franz Friebel and Amewu A. Mensah
Franz Friebel and Amewu A. Mensah
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Short summary
Simulating atmospheric aging processes in the laboratory under atmospheric conditions is a challenging task. Main obstacle is achieving long observation times at a reasonable amount of technical and financial input. We adapted the concept of the Continuous Flow Stirred Tank Reactor in order to achieve long observation times (up to 16 h) in small chamber volumes (3 m3). We successfully tested this concept by oxidation of soot particles with ozone.
Simulating atmospheric aging processes in the laboratory under atmospheric conditions is a...
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