Atmospheric Chemistry

H2SO4/(NH4)2SO4/H2O Ternary System

This project was featured on the cover of the January 25th, 2007 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

Abstract: We have experimentally investigated the water and sulfuric acid-rich regions of the H2SO4/(NH4)2SO4/H2O ternary liquid/solid phase diagram using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and infrared spectroscopy of thin films. We present the liquid/solid ternary phase diagram for temperatures below 373 K and H2SO4 concentrations below 60 wt %. We have determined two ternary eutectics and two tributary reaction points for this system in the regions studied. It is also seen that sulfuric acid tetrahydrate (SAT) forms as a metastable solid over a large concentration range. Two true binary systems have been identified: ice/letovicite and SAT/ammonium bisulfate. Finally, we have compared our results to the predictions of the aerosol inorganics model and have found significant differences both in the final melting points and in the location of some of the phase boundaries including a significant discrepancy in the invariant points predicted versus those observed.

Read the Paper Here