Gas–particle partitioning and hydrolysis of organic nitrates formed from the oxidation of α-pinene in environmental chamber experiments
- McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
Abstract. Gas–particle partitioning and hydrolysis of organic nitrates (ON) influences their role as sinks and sources of NOx and their effects on the formation of tropospheric ozone and organic aerosol (OA). In this work, organic nitrates were formed from the photo-oxidation of α-pinene in environmental chamber experiments under different conditions. Particle-phase ON hydrolysis rates, consistent with observed ON decay, exhibited a nonlinear dependence on relative humidity (RH): an ON decay rate of 2 day−1 was observed when the RH ranged between 20 and 60 %, and no significant ON decay was observed at RH lower than 20 %. In experiments when the highest observed RH exceeded the deliquescence RH of the ammonium sulfate seed aerosol, the particle-phase ON decay rate was as high as 7 day−1 and more variable. The ON gas–particle partitioning was dependent on total OA concentration and temperature, consistent with absorptive partitioning theory. In a volatility basis set, the ON partitioning was consistent with mass fractions of [0 0.11 0.03 0.86] at saturation mass concentrations (C*) of [1 10 100 1000] µg m−3.