Title: The Effect of Particle Chemical Composition on the Activation Probability in n-Butanol Condensation Particle Counters
Authors: GIECHASKIEL BarouchWANG XiaoliangGILLILAND DouglasDROSSINOS Ioannis
Citation: JOURNAL OF AEROSOL SCIENCE vol. 42 no. 1 p. 20-37
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC61066
ISSN: 0021-8502
URI: www.elsevier.com/locate/jaerosci
DOI: 10.1016/j.aerosci.2010.10.006
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The effect of particle chemical composition on the counting efficiency of a commercially available n-butanol condensation particle counter (CPC) was theoretically investigated. The activation probability of particles soluble in n-butanol or covered by a soluble coating was determined by Köhler theory, whereas the activation of insoluble particles was determined by heterogeneous nucleation theory. The theoretically predicted counting efficiencies were fit to experimental data to infer the n-butanol microscopic contact angle on insoluble particles or the volume of a soluble layer coating the particle. The calculated microscopic contact angles were found to depend on particle chemical composition, particle diameter, and the CPC saturator-to-condenser temperature difference. For counting efficiencies close to unity (large particle diameters) the contact angle approached a constant value independent of chemical composition and determined by the CPC operating temperature difference. The average n-butanol microscopic contact angle on diesel exhaust and CAST soot was determined to be 5-10°, on uncontaminated Emery oil particle 10°, on thermally pretreated tetracontane ( ) particles 25°, and on dry sodium chloride particles 15-20° for CPCs operated at a temperature difference of approximately 7ºC (low saturation ratios). The counting efficiencies were very sensitive to particle contamination, as determined by the particle generation method and treatment, an effect that could be reproduced by modified Köhler theory, and the particle chemical composition dependence became stronger at lower CPC temperature differences.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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