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Cloud condensation nucleus behaviour of selected dicarboxylic acids

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  • Mia Frosch Mogensbæk Poulsen, Denmark
  • Ole Faurskov Nielsen, Denmark
  • Merete Bilde

Due to relatively high water solubilities and low volatilities under ambient conditions, dicarboxylic acids have a high potential for forming aerosols, i.e. act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Futhermore, dicarboxylic acids have been detected in atmospheric aerosols on many different sites (e.g. Anttila et al, 2005).

Particles composed of two such compounds, namely glutaric acid and pimelic acid, have been studied using a cloud condensation nucleus counter (University of Wyoming, Model 100B). The behaviour of pimelic acid seems to agree quite well with the predictions of Köhler theory. This, however, is not the case for glutaric acid. A likely explanation is that this rather volatile compound evaporates significantly from the surface of a particle. Attempts have therefore been made to correct for this evaporation, and the results show a much better agreement with Köhler theory.

The dicarboxylic acids are also compared to their corresponding keto-acids: 2-ketoglutaric acid, 3-ketoglutaric acid and 4-ketopimelic acid.  The effect of the keto-group on cloud droplet activation is discussed.



Anttila, P., Hyötyläinen, T., Heikkilä, A., Jussila, M., Finell, J., Kulmala, M., and Riekkola, M.L , Determination of organic acids in aerosol particles from a coniferous forest by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, Journal of Separation Science, 28, 337-346, 2005.

Original languageEnglish
Publication year2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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