The partitioning behavior of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into nanoparticles is less studied compared to those of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) because of the lower concentration of the VOCs that is expected to partition into particles. One challenge in measuring the accurate partition coefficient of VOCs is quantifying their low mass fraction that sorbed on nanoparticles and differentiating them from the high VOC concentrations present in the gas-phase. Systematically characterizing the partitioning coefficient at a specific environmental condition is also difficult when sampling in the field. During field sampling, thermal and non-thermal issues such as sampling artifacts and non-equilibrium conditions because of a dynamic environment often result in considerable variability in the measured partition coefficients. In this study, we developed a bench-scale system that can achieve precise control of the experimental condition (e.g., relative humidity, temperature, and particle composition) and allow us to measure the low concentration of 1,2-dichlorobenzene in the particles. A similar set up can be used to study the low mass fraction of other VOCs partitioning in nanoparticles. The detailed but uncomplicated system setup may assist other researchers that investigate the global fate and transport and health effects of VOCs.
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Published in MethodsX, Volume 7, 2020, pages 101041-.
©Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Rao, G., Ahn, J., Evans, A., Casey, M., & Vejerano, E. (2020). A method to measure the partitioning coefficient of volatile organic compounds in nanoparticles. MethodsX, 7, 101041. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101041