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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Mar 2019

Research article | 19 Mar 2019

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

Versatile Aerosol Concentration Enrichment System (VACES) operating as a Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) concentrator. Development and laboratory characterization

Carmen Dameto de España1, Gerhard Steiner1,2, Harald Schuh1, Constantinos Sioutas3, and Regina Hitzenberger1 Carmen Dameto de España et al.
  • 1Department of Aerosol Physics and Environmental Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna,Vienna, 1090, Austria
  • 2Institute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics,University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 3620, USA

Abstract. The ability of atmospheric aerosol particles to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) depends on many factors, including particle size, chemical composition, and meteorological conditions. To expand our knowledge on CCN, it is essential to understand the factors leading to CCN activation. For this purpose a versatile aerosol concentrator enrichment system (VACES) has been modified to select CCN at different supersaturations. The VACES enables to sample CCN particles without altering their chemical and physical properties. The redesigned VACES enriches CCN particles by first passing the aerosol flow to a new saturator and then to a condenser. The activated particles are concentrated by an inertial virtual impactor, and then can be returned to their original size by diffusion-drying. For the calibration, the saturator temperature was fixed at 52 °C and the condenser temperature range was altered from 5 °C to 25 °C to obtain activation curves for NaCl particles of different sizes. Critical water vapour supersaturations can be calculated using the 50 % cutpoint of these curves. Calibration results have also shown that CCN concentrations can be enriched by a factor of approx. 17, which is in agreement with the experimentally determined enrichment factor of the original VACES. The advantage of the re-designed VACES over conventional CCN counters (both static and continuous flow instruments) lies in the substantial enrichment of activated CCN which facilitates further chemical analysis.

Carmen Dameto de España et al.
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Carmen Dameto de España et al.
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