Sources and Effects of Monolayers on Atmospheric Water Droplets

W. P. Giddings Water and Air Resources Division, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle 98195

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M. B. Baker Water and Air Resources Division, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle 98195

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Abstract

Haze particles coated by organic substances have been found in some maritime regions. It is shown that the most likely origin of surfactant material on atmospheric droplets is the ocean surface, which contains fatty acids and other organics previously identified in atmospheric aerosol particles as well as calcium soaps and proteinaceous substances which could act as surfactants. Persistent hazes, but not fogs, may result from stabilization of unactivated atmospheric droplets by organic surfactants in maritime regions. Calculations show that under time-varying atmospheric conditions the primary effect of surfactants is to decrease the steady-state portion of. the growth rate. A kinetic mechanism is proposed for the monolayer inhibitory action, implying limitations on the utility of the accommodation coefficient formulation.

Abstract

Haze particles coated by organic substances have been found in some maritime regions. It is shown that the most likely origin of surfactant material on atmospheric droplets is the ocean surface, which contains fatty acids and other organics previously identified in atmospheric aerosol particles as well as calcium soaps and proteinaceous substances which could act as surfactants. Persistent hazes, but not fogs, may result from stabilization of unactivated atmospheric droplets by organic surfactants in maritime regions. Calculations show that under time-varying atmospheric conditions the primary effect of surfactants is to decrease the steady-state portion of. the growth rate. A kinetic mechanism is proposed for the monolayer inhibitory action, implying limitations on the utility of the accommodation coefficient formulation.

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