Homogeneous nucleation rates of nitric acid dihydrate (NAD) at simulated stratospheric conditions – Part II: Modelling

Möhler, O.; Bunz, H.; Stetzer, O.

Activation energies Δ Gact for the nucleation of nitric acid dihydrate (NAD) in supercooled binary HNO 3/H 2O solution droplets were calculated from volume-based nucleation rate measurements using the AIDA (Aerosol, Interactions, and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) aerosol chamber of Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. The experimental conditions covered temperatures T between 192 and 197 K, NAD saturation ratios SNAD between 7 and 10, and nitric acid molar fractions of the nucleating sub-micron sized droplets between 0.26 and 0.28. Based on classical nucleation theory, a new parameterisation for Δ Gact= A×( T ln SNAD) −2+ B is fitted to the experimental data with A=2.5×10 6 kcal K 2 mol −1 and B=11.2−0.1(T−192) kcal mol −1. A and B were chosen to also achieve good agreement with literature data of Δ Gact. The parameter A implies, for the temperature and composition range of our analysis, a mean interface tension σ sl=51 cal mol −1 cm −2 between the growing NAD germ and the supercooled solution. A slight temperature dependence of the diffusion activation energy is represented by the parameter B. Investigations with a detailed microphysical process model showed that literature formulations of volume-based (Salcedo et al., 2001) and surface-based (Tabazadeh et al., 2002) nucleation rates significantly overestimate NAD formation rates when applied to the conditions of our experiments.

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Möhler, O. / Bunz, H. / Stetzer, O.: Homogeneous nucleation rates of nitric acid dihydrate (NAD) at simulated stratospheric conditions – Part II: Modelling. 2006. Copernicus Publications.

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