Articles | Volume 20, issue 16
Research article
17 Aug 2020
Research article |  | 17 Aug 2020

Glyoxal's impact on dry ammonium salts: fast and reversible surface aerosol browning

David O. De Haan, Lelia N. Hawkins, Kevin Jansen, Hannah G. Welsh, Raunak Pednekar, Alexia de Loera, Natalie G. Jimenez, Margaret A. Tolbert, Mathieu Cazaunau, Aline Gratien, Antonin Bergé, Edouard Pangui, Paola Formenti, and Jean-François Doussin

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Cited articles

Betterton, E. A. and Hoffmann, M. R.: Henry's Law constants of some environmentally important aldehydes, Environ. Sci. Technol., 22, 1415–1418,, 1988. 
Biskos, G., Paulsen, D., Russell, L. M., Buseck, P. R., and Martin, S. T.: Prompt deliquescence and efflorescence of aerosol nanoparticles, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 4633–4642,, 2006. 
Chang, J. L. and Thompson, J. E.: Characterization of colored products formed during irradiation of solutions containing H2O2 and phenolic compounds, Atmos. Environ., 44, 541–551,, 2010. 
Clegg, S. L. and Wexler, A. S.: Densities and Apparent Molar Volumes of Atmospherically Important Electrolyte Solutions. 1. The Solutes H2SO4, HNO3, HCl, Na2SO4, NaNO3, NaCl, (NH4)2SO4, NH4NO3, and NH4Cl from 0 to 50 C, Including Extrapolations to Very Low Temperature and to the Pure Liquid State, and NaHSO4, NaOH, and NH3 at 25 C, J. Phys. Chem. A, 115, 3393–3460,, 2011. 
Corrigan, A. L., Hanley, S. W., and De Haan, D. O.: Uptake of glyoxal by organic and inorganic aerosol, Environ. Sci. Technol., 42, 4428–4433,, 2008. 
Short summary
When exposed to glyoxal in chamber experiments, dry ammonium or methylammonium sulfate particles turn brown immediately and reversibly without increasing in size. Much less browning was observed on wet aerosol particles, and no browning was observed with sodium sulfate aerosol. While estimated dry aerosol light absorption caused by background glyoxal (70 ppt) is insignificant compared to that of secondary brown carbon overall, in polluted regions this process could be a source of brown carbon.
Final-revised paper