Estimating black carbon aging time-scales with a particle-resolved aerosol model

Nicole Riemer, Matthew West, Rahul Zaveri, Richard Easter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the aging process of aerosol particles is important for assessing their chemical reactivity, cloud condensation nuclei activity, radiative properties and health impacts. In this study we investigate the aging of black carbon containing particles in an idealized urban plume using a new approach, the particle-resolved aerosol model PartMC-MOSAIC. We present a method to estimate aging time-scales using an aging criterion based on cloud condensation nuclei activation. The results show a separation into a daytime regime where condensation dominates and a nighttime regime where coagulation dominates. There is also a strong dependence on supersaturation threshold. For the chosen urban plume scenario and supersaturations ranging from 0.1% to 1%, the aging time-scales vary between 11 and 0.068 h during the day, and between 54 and 6.4 h during the night.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-158
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Aerosol aging
  • Black carbon
  • CCN
  • Mixing state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Atmospheric Science


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