Heterogeneous freezing of ammonium sulfate and sodium chloride solutions by long chain alcohols

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High molecular weight organic compounds emitted during biomass burning can be transported to high altitudes where they may affect ice processes through heterogeneous nucleation. We show that freezing of solutions of ammonium sulfate and sodium chloride catalyzed by long chain alcohols is roughly consistent with the hypothesis that the water activity at the mean freezing temperature is a constant offset from the water activity at the melting point of the solution, though films of the longer chain alcohols may undergo structural changes at higher salt concentrations which cause a deviation from the constant offset. The heterogeneous nucleation rate coefficient, averaged over all solutions, alcohols, and droplet sizes is 6.0 × 104 ± 4.0 × 104 cm-2 s-1, with no dependence on any of those parameters. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

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Geophysical Research Letters