Effect of atmospheric humic-like substances on the enhanced dissolution of volatile organic compounds into dew water

H. Okochi*, E. Sato, Y. Matsubayashi, M. Igawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Simultaneous sampling of chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHs) and monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (MAHs), potentially harmful to humans and/or responsible for the formation of ozone and secondary particles, in dew water and in the ambient air was carried out from August 2004 to July 2005 in Hino City, situated in the western part of Greater Tokyo, Japan. CHs were less contained in dew water than MAHs. Toluene (volume-weighted mean concentration, VWM: 4.77 nM) and m,p-Xylenes (VWM: 5.07 nM) except dichloromethane, which was abnormally high (VWM: 1.14 μM), were abundant among eleven VOCs determined in dew water. Chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-dichloroethane, and benzene were not detected in dew water during the study period. Dew water contained higher amounts of VOCs than would have been expected from the ambient gas-phase concentrations and the temperature-corrected Henry's law constants. Following the determination method of humic substances in river water proposed by Hiraide et al. [Hiraide, M., Shima, T., Kawaguchi, H., 1994. Separation and determination of dissolved and particulate humic substances in river water. Mikrochim. Acta 113, 269-276], the VWM of soluble humic and fulvic acid fractions in dew water was found to be 1.00 mg/L and 0.87 mg/L (n = 20), respectively, while the VWM of particulate humic and fulvic acid fractions was found to be 0.61 mg/L and 0.42 mg/L (n = 20), respectively. Surface tension decreased with an increase in dissolved fulvic acid fraction in dew water, indicating that humic-like substances with relatively lower molecular weight, which is soluble in acid solution, could be an effective surface-active species within dew water. The enrichment factors, which were defined as the ratio of the observed VOCs concentration to the estimated, were over 102 for MAHs except for benzene and increased as the increment of total humic-like substances (HULIS) concentration (the sum of humic and fulvic acid fractions in both dissolved and particulate form) normalized by total inorganic ion concentration in dew water. Our results indicate that total HULIS in dew water could enhance the dissolution of atmospheric VOCs into dew droplets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • Enrichment factor
  • Henry's law
  • Humic-like substances (HULIS)
  • Monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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