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Cloud partitioning of isocyanic acid (HNCO) and evidence of secondary source of HNCO in ambient air

TitleCloud partitioning of isocyanic acid (HNCO) and evidence of secondary source of HNCO in ambient air
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsZhao R., Lee A.KY, Wentzell JJB, McDonald A.M, Toom-Sauntry D, Leaitch WR, Modini RL, Corrigan A.L, Russell LM, Noone K.J, Schroder JC, Bertram A.K, Hawkins L.N, Abbatt J.PD, Liggio J
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published2014/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000344913800056
Keywordsaerosol; atmosphere; chemistry; droplets; entrainment; exhaust; mass-spectrometer; model; ni-pt-cims; pyrolysis

Although isocyanic acid (HNCO) may cause a variety of health issues via protein carbamylation and has been proposed as a key compound in smoke-related health issues, our understanding of the atmospheric sources and fate of this toxic compound is currently incomplete. To address these issues, a field study was conducted at Mount Soledad, La Jolla, CA, to investigate partitioning of HNCO to clouds and fogs using an Acetate Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer coupled to a ground-based counterflow virtual impactor. The first field evidence of cloud partitioning of HNCO is presented, demonstrating that HNCO is dissolved in cloudwater more efficiently than expected based on the effective Henry's law solubility. The measurements also indicate evidence for a secondary, photochemical source of HNCO in ambient air at this site.

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