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Oxalate metal complexes in aerosol particles: implications for the hygroscopicity of oxalate-containing particles

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Author(s): T. Furukawa | Y. Takahashi

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
ISSN 1680-7316

Volume: 11;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 4289;
Date: 2011;
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ABSTRACT
Atmospheric aerosols have both a direct and an indirect cooling effect that influences the radiative balance at the Earth's surface. It has been estimated that the degree of cooling is large enough to weaken the warming effect of carbon dioxide. Among the cooling factors, secondary organic aerosols (SOA) play an important role in the solar radiation balance in the troposphere as SOA can act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and extend the lifespan of clouds because of their high hygroscopic and water soluble nature. Oxalic acid is an important component of SOA, and is produced via several formation pathways in the atmosphere. However, it is not certain whether oxalic acid exists as free oxalic acid or as metal oxalate complexes in aerosols, although there is a marked difference in their solubility in water and their hygroscopicity. We employed X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy to characterize the calcium (Ca) and zinc (Zn) in aerosols collected at Tsukuba in Japan. Size-fractionated aerosol samples were collected for this purpose using an impactor aerosol sampler. It was shown that 10–60% and 20–100% of the total Ca and Zn in the finer particles (
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