Issue 3, 2022

Survival of newly formed particles in haze conditions


Intense new particle formation events are regularly observed under highly polluted conditions, despite the high loss rates of nucleated clusters. Higher than expected cluster survival probability implies either ineffective scavenging by pre-existing particles or missing growth mechanisms. Here we present experiments performed in the CLOUD chamber at CERN showing particle formation from a mixture of anthropogenic vapours, under condensation sinks typical of haze conditions, up to 0.1 s−1. We find that new particle formation rates substantially decrease at higher concentrations of pre-existing particles, demonstrating experimentally for the first time that molecular clusters are efficiently scavenged by larger sized particles. Additionally, we demonstrate that in the presence of supersaturated gas-phase nitric acid (HNO3) and ammonia (NH3), freshly nucleated particles can grow extremely rapidly, maintaining a high particle number concentration, even in the presence of a high condensation sink. Such high growth rates may explain the high survival probability of freshly formed particles under haze conditions. We identify under what typical urban conditions HNO3 and NH3 can be expected to contribute to particle survival during haze.

Graphical abstract: Survival of newly formed particles in haze conditions

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Article information

Article type
23 Jan 2022
24 Mar 2022
First published
08 Apr 2022
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY-NC license

Environ. Sci.: Atmos., 2022,2, 491-499

Survival of newly formed particles in haze conditions

R. Marten, M. Xiao, B. Rörup, M. Wang, W. Kong, X. He, D. Stolzenburg, J. Pfeifer, G. Marie, D. S. Wang, W. Scholz, A. Baccarini, C. P. Lee, A. Amorim, R. Baalbaki, D. M. Bell, B. Bertozzi, L. Caudillo, B. Chu, L. Dada, J. Duplissy, H. Finkenzeller, L. G. Carracedo, M. Granzin, A. Hansel, M. Heinritzi, V. Hofbauer, D. Kemppainen, A. Kürten, M. Lampimäki, K. Lehtipalo, V. Makhmutov, H. E. Manninen, B. Mentler, T. Petäjä, M. Philippov, J. Shen, M. Simon, Y. Stozhkov, A. Tomé, A. C. Wagner, Y. Wang, S. K. Weber, Y. Wu, M. Zauner-Wieczorek, J. Curtius, M. Kulmala, O. Möhler, R. Volkamer, P. M. Winkler, D. R. Worsnop, J. Dommen, R. C. Flagan, J. Kirkby, N. M. Donahue, H. Lamkaddam, U. Baltensperger and I. El Haddad, Environ. Sci.: Atmos., 2022, 2, 491 DOI: 10.1039/D2EA00007E

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