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Concentrations and Adsorption Isotherms for Amphiphilic Surfactants in PM1 Aerosols from Different Regions of Europe

Gerard, Violaine; Noziere, Barbara; Fine, Ludovic; Ferronato, Corinne; Singh, Dharmendra Kumar; Frossard, Amanda A.; Cohen, Ronald C.; Asmi, Eija; Lihavainen, Heikki; Kivekas, Niku; Aurela, Minna; Brus, David; Frka, Sanja; Cvitešić Kušan, Ana (2019) Concentrations and Adsorption Isotherms for Amphiphilic Surfactants in PM1 Aerosols from Different Regions of Europe. Environmental Science and Technology, 53 (21). pp. 12379-12388. ISSN 0013-936X

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Predicting the activation of submicrometer particles into cloud droplets in the atmosphere remains a challenge. The importance of surface tension, σ (mN m–1), in these processes has been evidenced by several works, but information on the “surfactants” lowering σ in actual atmospheric particles remains scarce. In this work, PM1 aerosols from urban, coastal, and remote regions of Europe (Lyon, France, Rogoznica, Croatia, and Pallas, Finland, respectively) were investigated and found to contain amphiphilic surfactants in concentrations up to 2.8 μg m–3 in the air and 1.3 M in the particle dry volume. In Pallas, correlations with the PM1 chemical composition showed that amphiphilic surfactants were present in the entire range of particle sizes, supporting recent works. This implied that they were present in hundreds to thousands of particles cm–3 and not only in a few large particles, as it has been hypothesized. Their adsorption isotherms and critical micelle concentration (CMC) were also determined. The low CMC obtained (3 × 10–5–9 × 10–3 M) implies that surface tension depression should be significant for all the particles containing these compounds, even at activation (growth factor ∼ 10). Amphiphilic surfactants are thus likely to enhance the CCN ability of submicrometer atmospheric particles.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Uncontrolled Keywords: PM1 ; surfactants ; surface tension ; critical micelle concentration ; cloud droplets
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Depositing User: Ana Cvitešić Kušan
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2020 11:47
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b03386

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