Atmospheric environment

Characterization of condensed phase nitric acid particles formedin the gas phase

Long Jia , Yongfu Xu


Received April 25, 2010,Revised June 24, 2010, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 412-418

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The formation of nitric acid hydrates has been observed in a chamber during the dark reaction of NO2 with O3 in the presence of air. The size of condensed phase nitric acid was measured to be 40–100 nm and 20–65 nm at relative humidity (RH) 6 5% and RH = 67% under our experimental conditions, respectively. The nitric acid particles were collected on the glass fiber membrane and their chemical compositions were analyzed by infrared spectrum. The main components of nitric acid hydrates in particles are HNO3 3H2O and NO3?? xH2O (x> 4) at low RH, whereas at high RH HNO3 H2O, HNO3 2H2O, HNO3 3H2O and NO3?? xH2O (x> 4) all exist in the condensed phase. At high RH HNO3 xH2O (x 6 3) collected on the glass fiber membrane is greatly increased, while NO3?? xH2O (x > 4) decreased, compared with low RH. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time to report that condensed phase nitric acid can be generated in the gas phase at room temperature.

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