Hygroscopic Characteristics of Alkylaminium Carboxylate Aerosols. Academic Article uri icon


  • The hygroscopic growth factor (HGF) and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity for a series of alkylaminium carboxylate aerosols have been measured using a hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer coupled to a condensation particle counter and a CCN counter. The particles, consisting of the mixtures of mono- (acetic, propanoic, p-toluic, and cis-pinonic acid) and dicarboxylic (oxalic, succinic, malic, adipic, and azelaic acid) acid with alkylamine (mono-, di-, and trimethylamines), represent those commonly found under diverse environmental conditions. The hygroscopicity parameter () of the alkylaminium carboxylate aerosols was derived from the HGF and CCN results and theoretically calculated. The HGF at 90% RH is in the range of 1.3 to 1.8 for alkylaminium monocarboxylates and 1.1 to 2.2 for alkylaminium dicarboxylates, dependent on the molecular functionality (i.e., the carboxylic or OH functional group in organic acids and methyl substitution in alkylamines). The value for all alkylaminium carboxylates is in the range of 0.06-1.37 derived from the HGF measurements at 90% RH, 0.05-0.49 derived from the CCN measurements, and 0.22-0.66 theoretically calculated. The measured hygroscopicity of the alkylaminium carboxylates increases with decreasing acid to base ratio. The deliquescence point is apparent for several of the alkylaminium dicarboxylates but not for the alkylaminium monocarboxylates. Our results reveal that alkylaminium carboxylate aerosols exhibit distinct hygroscopic and deliquescent characteristics that are dependent on their molecular functionality, hence regulating their impacts on human health, air quality, and direct and indirect radiative forcing on climate.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Gomez-Hernandez, M., McKeown, M., Secrest, J., Marrero-Ortiz, W., Lavi, A., Rudich, Y., Collins, D. R., & Zhang, R.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Gomez-Hernandez, Mario||McKeown, Megan||Secrest, Jeremiah||Marrero-Ortiz, Wilmarie||Lavi, Avi||Rudich, Yinon||Collins, Don R||Zhang, Renyi

publication date

  • March 2016