Versatile aerosol concentration enrichment system (VACES) operating as a cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrator: development and laboratory characterization
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 of 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 sampling non-volatile 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 to 25 ∘C to obtain activation curves for NaCl particles of different sizes. Critical water vapour supersaturations can be calculated using the 50 % cut point 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 redesigned VACES over conventional CCN counters (both static and continuous flow instruments) lies in the substantial enrichment of activated CCN, which facilitates further chemical analysis.
Dameto de España