Water Activities and Osmotic Coefficients of Aqueous Solutions of Five Alkylaminium Sulfates and Their Mixtures with H2SO4 at 25° C

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-579
Journal / PublicationAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


Alkylaminium sulfates are frequently detected in ambient aerosols, and are believed to be important in the nucleation of new particles in the atmosphere, despite the comparatively low gas phase concentrations of amines. In this study, water activities and osmotic coefficients have been measured, using a chilled mirror dew point technique, of aqueous mixtures of sulfuric acid and the following alkylaminium sulfates: methylaminium, ethylaminium, dimethylaminium, diethylaminium, and trimethylaminium sulf-ate. The samples were prepared by mixing solutions of the five corresponding amines and aqueous sulfuric acid and determining the exact aminium to sulfate molar ratios by ion chromatography. The results were correlated using an extended Zdanovskii-Stokes-Robinson equation to enable concentration/water activity rela-tionships to be calculated over the entire composition range from pure aqueous sulfuric acid to pure aqueous aminium sulfate. Water activities and osmotic coefficients for aminium:sulfate ratios of 1:1 (the bisulfate salts) and lower showed great similarity with ammonium bisulfate, but osmotic coefficients for the 2:1 ratio (the aminium sulfates) were significantly larger (and water activities lower) than for ammonium sulfate. These results differ from those obtained in Clegg et al.'s (2013) study. The relative values of the osmotic coefficients, in concentrated solutions, suggest that the numbers of methyl or ethyl groups in the aminium ion may have a stronger lowering effect on water activity than the alkyl chain length.

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