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Atmosphere 2016, 7(5), 65; doi:10.3390/atmos7050065

Sensitivity and Contribution of Organic Aerosols to Aerosol Optical Properties Based on Their Refractive Index and Hygroscopicity

Department of Health Management, Kyungin Women’s University, 63 Geyangsan-ro, Gyeyang-gu, Incheon 21041, Korea
Air Qiality Research Division, National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon 22689, Korea
Department of Environmental Engineering, Chosun University, 309 Pilmun-daero, Dong-gu, Gwangju 61452, Korea
Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, Ewha Womans University, 11-1 Daehyun-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giovanni Pitari and Gabriele Curci
Received: 4 April 2016 / Revised: 3 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 May 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosols and Their Radiative Effects)
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Organic carbon (OC) accounts for a large fraction of particulate matter. Since many atmospheric organic compounds have different optical properties, it is difficult to determine the optical properties of OC accurately. In particular, hygroscopicity and light absorption of OC are important factors in understanding the aerosol optical properties. In this study, the sensitivity of organic carbon (OC) to aerosol optical properties was tested. Both the refractive index and the hygroscopicity of OC were considered. Based on the filter-based monthly averaged sampling measurement data from an intensive observation site in Seoul, Korea, the contribution of each component on the aerosol optical properties was estimated. The aerosol optical properties were simulated by combining the aerosol dynamic model for polydispersed aerosols with an optical properties model based on Mie code. The optical properties were compared with the AERONET Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) measurement data. In order to estimate the contribution of the light absorption and hygroscopicity of organic carbon (OC) on the optical properties of the aerosols, a sensitivity test was conducted with different imaginary refractive indices and OC hygroscopic growth factors. The results show that mass absorption efficiency can be fitted linearly as the imaginary refractive index increases. This means that one can estimate the mass absorption efficiency of OC as a function of the imaginary refractive index. The results also show that mass extinction and absorption efficiency decrease as the hygroscopic factor of OC increases because of the increase in water content. The contribution of OC to the mass extinction efficiency, however, depends on the chemical composition of other aerosol mixtures and hence, more comprehensive studies are required in this regard. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic carbon; optical properties; extinction; scattering; light absorption coefficient; sensitivity; hygroscopicity organic carbon; optical properties; extinction; scattering; light absorption coefficient; sensitivity; hygroscopicity

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jung, C.H.; Shin, H.J.; Lee, J.Y.; Kim, Y.P. Sensitivity and Contribution of Organic Aerosols to Aerosol Optical Properties Based on Their Refractive Index and Hygroscopicity. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 65.

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