Measured saturation vapour pressures of phenolic and nitro-aromatic compounds

Thomas Bannan, Andrew Booth, Benjamin Jones, Simon O'Meara, Mark Barley, Ilona Riipinen, C J Percival, David Topping

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    Phenolic and nitro-aromatic compounds are extremely toxic components of atmospheric aerosol that are currently not well understood. In this Article, solid and subcooled-liquid-state saturation vapor pressures of phenolic and nitro-aromatic compounds are measured using Knudsen Effusion Mass Spectrometry (KEMS) over a range of temperatures (298–318 K). Vapor pressure estimation methods, assessed in this study, do not replicate the observed dependency on the relative positions of functional groups. With a few exceptions, the estimates are biased toward predicting saturation vapor pressures that are too high, by 5–6 orders of magnitude in some cases. Basic partitioning theory comparisons indicate that overestimation of vapor pressures in such cases would cause us to expect these compounds to be present in the gas state, whereas measurements in this study suggest these phenolic and nitro-aromatic will partition into the condensed state for a wide range of ambient conditions if absorptive partitioning plays a dominant role. While these techniques might have both structural and parametric uncertainties, the new data presented here should support studies trying to ascertain the role of nitrogen containing organics on aerosol growth and human health impacts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3922–3928
    Number of pages7
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Issue number7
    Early online date6 Mar 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2017


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