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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 13, issue 2 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 1081-1091, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-13-1081-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 28 Jan 2013

Research article | 28 Jan 2013

A single parameter representation of hygroscopic growth and cloud condensation nucleus activity – Part 3: Including surfactant partitioning

M. D. Petters1 and S. M. Kreidenweis2 M. D. Petters and S. M. Kreidenweis
  • 1Department of Marine Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Abstract. Atmospheric particles can serve as cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere. The presence of surface active compounds in the particle may affect the critical supersaturation that is required to activate a particle. Modelling surfactants in the context of Köhler theory, however, is difficult because surfactant enrichment at the surface implies that a stable radial concentration gradient must exist in the droplet. In this study, we introduce a hybrid model that accounts for partitioning between the bulk and surface phases in the context of single parameter representations of cloud condensation nucleus activity. The presented formulation incorporates analytical approximations of surfactant partitioning to yield a set of equations that maintain the conceptual and mathematical simplicity of the single parameter framework. The resulting set of equations allows users of the single parameter model to account for surfactant partitioning by applying minor modifications to already existing code.

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