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Ternary nucleation rates of methane sulphonic acid (MSA)-sulphuric acid-water vapour particles from the gas phase at 298.15 K are calculated and compared to binary nucleation rates, using simplified classical nucleation theory, neglecting non-equilibrium factors and hydrate formation in the gas phase. The thermodynamic properties of the ternary mixture (activities, density, surface tension) are estimated as a function of composition by applying a set of mixing rules, including the Kusik-Meissner rule for the activities, to available experimental binary property data. At a relative humidity of 100 %, an increase greater than a factor of 1000 in the binary nucleation rate results after the addition of 1 ppbv MSA. This suggests that ternary nucleation is not relevant in the marine boundary layer. However, the conditions under which ternary nucleation contributes significantly to particle formation are likely to be met in laboratory studies dealing with this system.

Additional information

Authors: VAN DINGENEN R, JRC Ispra (IT);RAES F, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Aerosol Science, Vol. 24 (1993) No. 1, pp. 1-17
Record Number: 199310582 / Last updated on: 1994-11-29
Original language: en
Available languages: en