30 Aug 2023
 | 30 Aug 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

A Study on the Key Factors Determining the Hygroscopic property of Black Carbon

Zhanyu Su, Lanxiadi Chen, Yuan Liu, Peng Zhang, Tianzeng Chen, Biwu Chu, Mingjin Tang, Qingxin Ma, and Hong He

Abstract. Black carbon (BC) is a crucial component of aerosols in the atmosphere. Understanding the hygroscopicity of BC particles is important for studying their role as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nuclei (IN), as well as their chemical behavior and atmospheric lifetime. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding regarding the factors that determine the hygroscopic properties of fresh BC. In this work, the hygroscopic behavior of BC particles generated from different types of fuel and aged with SO2 for varying durations were measured by a vapor sorption analyzer while various characterizations of BC were conducted to understand the key factors that influence the hygroscopic properties of BC. It was found that the presence of water-soluble substances in BC facilitates the completion of monolayer water adsorption at low relative humidity, while also increasing the number of water adsorption layers at high relative humidity. On the other hand, BC prepared by burning organic fuels, which typically lacks water-soluble inorganic ions, primarily exhibits hygroscopicity characteristics influenced by organic carbon (OC) and microstructure. Furthermore, the hygroscopicity of BC can be enhanced by the formation of sulfate ions due to heterogeneous oxidation of SO2. This finding sheds light on the critical factors that affect BC hygroscopicity during water adsorption and allows for estimating the interaction between water molecules and BC particles in a humid atmosphere.

Zhanyu Su et al.

Status: open (until 11 Oct 2023)

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Zhanyu Su et al.

Zhanyu Su et al.


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Short summary
In this study, different Black carbon (BC) particles were analyzed to better understand their behavior. It was discovered that water-soluble substances in BC facilitate water adsorption at low humidity, while increasing the number of water layers at high humidity. BC from organic fuels, exhibits hygroscopicity influenced by organic carbon and microstructure. Additionally, the presence of sulfate ions due to the oxidation of SO2 enhances BC's hygroscopicity.