Displacement of ammonium from aerosol particles by uptake of triethylamine

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

31 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-247
Journal / PublicationAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


The displacement of ammonium by triethylammonium (TEAH) in aerosol particles of about 15-35 μm in diameter was investigated using an electrodynamic balance (EDB) coupled with in situ Raman spectroscopy. The phase state of particles played a crucial role in the extent of triethylamine (TEA) uptake. At 50 or 75% relative humidity (RH), the heterogenous uptake of about 40-ppm TEA by aqueous ammonium salts of sulfate [(NH 4) 2SO 4], bisulfate (NH 4HSO 4), nitrate (NH 4NO 3), chloride (NH 4Cl), and oxalate [(NH 4) 2C 2O 4] led to increases in particle mass of over 90%. A complete displacement of ammonium by TEAH was confirmed by direct EDB mass measurements and the Raman spectra obtained. TEAH sulfate was formed during the exposure of aqueous droplets of (NH 4) 2SO 4 and NH 4HSO 4 to TEA vapor at 50% RH; but a fraction of it decomposed to TEAH bisulfate when the TEA supply was removed. Crystalline solid particles of (NH 4) 2SO 4 and (NH 4) 2C 2O 4 experienced small mass increases of 4NO 3 particle at 4NO 3 droplet (50% RH) and formed TEAH nitrate. On the other hand, the amorphous NH 4HSO 4 solid particle reacted with TEA at 4) 2SO 4 and liquid TEAH bisulfate and sulfate. The formation of rather inert crystalline (NH 4) 2SO 4 suppressed the ammonium exchange. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.