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Title:Method for investigating the hygroscopic and optical character of organic carbon in atmospheric aerosols
Author(s):Kanu, Amadu
Advisor(s):Bond, Tami C
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Engineering
Discipline:Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Ion-Exchange High Performance Liquid Chromatography
Abstract:The hygroscopic and optical characteristics of organic carbon aerosols impact the radiative energy balance of the atmosphere, and therefore Earth’s climate. This thesis discusses the development of a method to fractionate organic carbon according to climate-relevant properties. Ion-exchange High Performance Liquid Chromatography (IE-HPLC) is developed as a single analytical method to provide information on both water affinity (via column affinity) and wavelength-dependent optical absorption of the water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) component of the aerosol. This method is applied to organic aerosol generated by burning and pyrolyzing biomass. The IE-HPLC method can fractionate WSOC, generated from a range of combustion conditions, into several distinct groups using gradients of two solvents in the liquid phase. The retention times of these compounds lies within the range of organic standards. Furthermore, the immersion of WSOC into salty or acidic aqueous environments increased the absorbance of the fractionated peaks by an order of magnitude. This increase did not scale with the amount of WSOC extracted from the samples. A correlation between chromatographic retention time and spectral absorption was found: WSOC fractions that exhibit stronger column affinity and hence water affinity were also found to absorb more intensely at longer wavelengths, up to about 400 nm.
Issue Date:2015-12-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Amadu Kanu
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12

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