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Laboratory study of the collection efficiency of submicron aerosol particles by cloud droplets - Part I: Influence of relative humidity

Abstract : A new In-Cloud Aerosol Scavenging Experiment (In-CASE) has been conceived to measure the collection efficiency (CE) of submicron aerosol particles by cloud droplets. In this setup, droplets fall at their terminal velocity through a 1 m high chamber in a laminar flow containing aerosol particles. At the bottom of the In-CASE chamber, the droplet train is separated from the aerosol particle flow - droplets are collected in an impaction cup, whereas aerosol particles are deposited on a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. The collected droplets and the filter are then analysed by fluorescence spectrometry since the aerosol particles are atomised from a sodium fluorescein salt solution (C20H10Na2O5). In-CASE fully controls all the parameters which affect the CE - the droplets and aerosol particles size distributions are monodispersed, the electric charges of droplets and aerosol particles are controlled, and the relative humidity is indirectly set via the chamber's temperature. This novel In-CASE setup is presented here as well as the first measurements obtained to study the impact of relative humidity on CE. For this purpose, droplets and particles are electrically neutralised. A droplet radius of 49.6±1.3 µm has been considered for six particle dry radii between 50 and 250 nm and three relative humidity levels of 71.1±1.3 %, 82.4±1.4 % and 93.5±0.9 %. These new CE measurements have been compared to theoretical models from literature which adequately describe the relative humidity influence on the measured CE.
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Alexis Dépée, Pascal Lemaitre, Thomas Gelain, Marie Monier, Andrea Flossmann. Laboratory study of the collection efficiency of submicron aerosol particles by cloud droplets - Part I: Influence of relative humidity. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, European Geosciences Union, 2021, 21, pp.6945-6962. ⟨10.5194/acp-21-6945-2021⟩. ⟨insu-03636637⟩

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