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Volatility of Organic Aerosol: Evaporation of Ammonium Sulfate/Succinic Acid Aqueous Solution Droplets

Condensation and evaporation modify the properties and effects of atmospheric aerosol particles. We studied the evaporation of aqueous succinic acid and succinic acid/ammonium sulfate droplets to obtain insights on the effect of ammonium sulfate on the gas/particle partitioning of atmospheric organic acids. Droplet evaporation in a laminar flow tube was measured in a Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer setup. A wide range of droplet compositions was investigated, and for some of the experiments the composition was tracked using an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer. The measured evaporation was compared to model predictions where the ammonium sulfate was assumed not to directly affect succinic acid evaporation. The model captured the evaporation rates for droplets with large organic content but overestimated the droplet size change when the molar concentration of succinic acid was similar to or lower than that of ammonium sulfate, suggesting that ammonium sulfate enhances the partitioning of dicarboxylic acids more than currently expected from simple mixture thermodynamics. If extrapolated to the real atmosphere, these results imply enhanced partitioning of secondary organic compounds in environments dominated by inorganic aerosol.