84 Investigating hygroscopic behavior and phase separation of organic/inorganic mixed phase aerosol particles with FTIR spectroscopy

Monday, 7 July 2014
Maria A. Zawadowicz, MIT, Cambridge, MA; and S. S. Seppalainen and D. J. Cziczo

Atmospheric aerosol particles can be composed of inorganic salts, such as ammonium sulfate and sodium chloride, and therefore exhibit hygroscopic properties. Many inorganic salts have very well-defined deliquescence and efflorescence points at which they take up and lose water, respectively. For example, the deliquescence relative humidity of pure ammonium sulfate is about 80% and its efflorescence point is about 35%. This behavior of ammonium sulfate is important to atmospheric chemistry because some reactions, such as the hydrolysis of N2O5, occur on aqueous but not crystalline surfaces. Deliquescence and efflorescence of simple inorganic salt particles have been investigated by a variety of methods, such as IR spectroscopy, tandem mobility analysis and electrodynamic balance. Field measurements have shown that atmospheric aerosol are not typically a single inorganic salt, instead they often contain organic as well as inorganic species. Mixed inorganic/organic aerosol particles, while abundant in the atmosphere, have not been studied as extensively. Many recent studies have focused on microscopy techniques that require deposition of the aerosol on a glass slide, possibly changing its surface properties. This project investigates the deliquescence and efflorescence points, phase separation and ability to exchange gas-phase components of mixed organic and inorganic aerosol using a flow tube coupled with FTIR spectroscopy. Ammonium sulfate aerosol mixed with organic polyols with different O:C ratios, including glycerol, 1,2,6-hexanetriol, 1,4-butanediol and 1,5-pentanediol have been investigated. This project aims to study gas-phase exchange in these aerosol systems to determine if exchange is impacted when phase separation occurs.
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