Isolation of ambient aerosols of known critical supersaturation: the differential critical supersaturation separator (DSCS)
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A field-deployable instrument has been developed that isolates from an ambient aerosol population only those particles that have critical supersaturations, Sc, within a narrow, user-specified, range. This Differential Critical Supersaturation Separator (DScS) is designed to supply one or more particle size and/or composition analyzers to permit the direct examination of the factors that influence the activation properties of ambient aerosols. The DScS consists of two coupled parallel plate continuous flow thermal gradient diffusion cloud chambers housed within a single enclosure. Descriptions of instrument operation, construction and calibration data collected, when pure ammonium sulfate aerosols were injected into the DScS for operation at 0.15%< Sc<0.175%, 0.30%< Sc<0.35%, and 0.60% < Sc<0.70%, are included. Following instrument development, the DScS was deployed during March 2006 for the Megacities Impact on Regional And Global Environment (MIRAGE) field campaign in Mexico City, Mexico. Throughout the MIRAGE field campaign a Differential Mobility Analyzer/Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer (DMA/TDMA) system measured aerosol size distributions and size-resolved hygroscopicity of DScS separated aerosol. The dry diameter (Dp*) of particles sampled in the TDMA system as well as the known Sc prescribed in the DScS were combined in a modified version of KÃÂ¶hler Theory to make predictions of particle hygroscopicity. These predictions frequently overestimated the measurements. Further analysis of DScS separated aerosols compares the known particle Sc to a predicted particle Sc, providing insight into particle activation efficiency. Overall, the sampled aerosol exhibited properties that indicate they were more efficient at activation than KÃÂ¶hler Theory would predict.
Osborn, Robert John (2003). Isolation of ambient aerosols of known critical supersaturation: the differential critical supersaturation separator (DSCS). Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from