Skip to content

Liquid-liquid phase separation in particles containing organics mixed with ammonium sulfate, ammonium bisulfate, ammonium nitrate or sodium chloride

by Y. You, L. Renbaum-Wolff, A. K. Bertram
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
Get full text at journal


As the relative humidity varies from high to low values in the atmosphere, particles containing organic species and inorganic salts may undergo liquid–liquid phase separation. The majority of the laboratory work on this subject has used ammonium sulfate as the inorganic salt. In the following we studied liquid–liquid phase separation in particles containing organics mixed with the following salts: ammonium sulfate, ammonium bisulfate, ammonium nitrate and sodium chloride. In each experiment one organic was mixed with one inorganic salt and the liquid–liquid phase separation relative humidity (SRH) was determined. Since we studied 23 different organics mixed with four different salts, a total of 92 different particle types were investigated. Out of the 92 types, 49 underwent liquid–liquid phase separation. For all the inorganic salts, liquid–liquid phase separation was never observed when the oxygen-to-carbon elemental ratio (O : C) 0.8 and was always observed for O:C < 0.5. For 0.5 O:C < 0.8, the results depended on the salt type. Out of the 23 organic species investigated, the SRH of 20 organics followed the trend: (NH4)2SO4 NH4HSO4 NaCl NH4NO3. This trend is consistent with previous salting out studies and the Hofmeister series. Based on the range of O:C values found in the atmosphere and the current results, liquid–liquid phase separation is likely a frequent occurrence in both marine and non-marine environments.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

32 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
66% Chemistry
19% Earth and Planetary Sciences
9% Environmental Science
by Academic Status
38% Student > Ph. D. Student
16% Researcher
16% Student > Master
by Country
3% Germany
3% United Kingdom
3% United States

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in