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Influence of fuel sulfur on the composition of aircraft exhaust plumes: The experiments SULFUR 1-7

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Arnold,  F.
Frank Arnold - Atmospheric Trace Gases and Ions, Research Groups, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Curtius,  J.
Frank Arnold - Atmospheric Trace Gases and Ions, Research Groups, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Kiendler,  A.
Prof. Konrad Mauersberger, Emeriti, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Wohlfrom,  K. H.
Frank Arnold - Atmospheric Trace Gases and Ions, Research Groups, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schumann, U., Arnold, F., Busen, R., Curtius, J., Karcher, B., Kiendler, A., et al. (2002). Influence of fuel sulfur on the composition of aircraft exhaust plumes: The experiments SULFUR 1-7. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 107(D15): 4247, pp. 4247-4247.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-82DE-D
Abstract
[1] The series of SULFUR experiments was performed to determine the aerosol particle and contrail formation properties of aircraft exhaust plumes for different fuel sulfur contents (FSC, from 2 to 5500 mug/g), flight conditions, and aircraft (ATTAS, A310, A340, B707, B747, B737, DC8, DC10). This paper describes the experiments and summarizes the results obtained, including new results from SULFUR 7. The conversion fraction epsilon of fuel sulfur to sulfuric acid is measured in the range 0.34 to 4.5% for an older (Mk501) and 3.3 +/- 1.8% for a modern engine (CFM56-3B1). For low FSC, epsilon is considerably smaller than what is implied by the volume of volatile particles in the exhaust. For FSC greater than or equal to 100 mug/g and epsilon as measured, sulfuric acid is the most important precursor of volatile aerosols formed in aircraft exhaust plumes of modern engines. The aerosol measured in the plumes of various aircraft and models suggests epsilon to vary between 0.5 and 10% depending on the engine and its state of operation. The number of particles emitted from various subsonic aircraft engines or formed in the exhaust plume per unit mass of burned fuel varies from 2 x 10(14) to 3 x 10(15) kg(-1) for nonvolatile particles (mainly black carbon or soot) and is of order 2 x 10(17) kg(-1) for volatile particles >1.5 nm at plume ages of a few seconds. Chemiions (CIs) formed in kerosene combustion are found to be quite abundant and massive. CIs contain sulfur-bearing molecules and organic matter. The concentration of CIs at engine exit is nearly 10(9) cm(-3). Positive and negative CIs are found with masses partially exceeding 8500 atomic mass units. The measured number of volatile particles cannot be explained with binary homogeneous nucleation theory but is strongly related to the number of CIs. The number of ice particles in young contrails is close to the number of soot particles at low FSC and increases with increasing FSC. Changes in soot particles and FSC have little impact on the threshold temperature for contrail formation (less than 0.4 K).