Physiochemical properties of alkylaminium sulfates: hygroscopicity, thermostability, and density. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although heterogeneous interaction of amines has been recently shown to play an important role in the formation and growth of atmospheric aerosols, little information is available on the physicochemical properties of aminium sulfates. In this study, the hygroscopicity, thermostability, and density of alkylaminium sulfates (AASs) have been measured by an integrated aerosol analytical system including a tandem differential mobility analyzer and an aerosol particle mass analyzer. AAS aerosols exhibit monotonic size growth at increasing RH without a well-defined deliquescence point. Mixing of ammonium sulfate (AS) with AASs lowers the deliquescence point corresponding to AS. Particles with AASs show comparable or higher thermostability than that of AS. The density of AASs is determined to be 1.2-1.5 g cm(-3), and an empirical model is developed to predict the density of AASs on the basis of the mole ratio of alkyl carbons to total sulfate. Our results reveal that the heterogeneous uptake of amines on sulfate particles may considerably alter the aerosol properties. In particular, the displacement reaction of alkylamines with ammonium sulfate aerosols leads to a transition from the crystalline to an amorphorous phase and an improved water uptake, considerably enhancing their direct and indirect climate forcing.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Qiu, C., & Zhang, R.

citation count

  • 72

complete list of authors

  • Qiu, Chong||Zhang, Renyi

publication date

  • April 2012