Effects of surface type and relative humidity on the production and concentration of nitrous acid in a model indoor environment.
A nested chamber design was constructed for the purpose of studying parameters that affect indoor air chemistry. Experiments were conducted in this system to investigate the effects of three surface types (Teflon, wallpaper, and carpet) and two levels of relative humidity (50% and 70% RH) on the formation of gas-phase nitrous acid (HONO) through the heterogeneous reaction of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) with sorbed water vapor. The results of this investigation show that, compared with Teflon surfaces, carpet made of synthetic fibers increased the NO2 surface removal rate by nearly an order of magnitude and resulted in higher peak HONO concentrations. The results also suggest that the capacity of a surface to sorb water will determine if HONO is released from that surface after the NO2 source has been turned off and the heterogeneous reaction between NO2 and sorbed water is no longer significant. Vinyl-coated wallpaper was found to release HONO for prolonged periods of time after the NO2 source was turned off at both 50% and 70% RH whereas Teflon was found to do so only at 70% RH. The results of this investigation also demonstrate the utility of the nested chamber design in investigating indoor air chemistry.
Wainman, T; Weschler, CJ; Lioy, PJ; Zhang, J
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