Effects of Other Compounds on 4-Nitrophenol

After developing and optimizing the photolysis of 4-Nitrophenol alone, we then moved on to a controlled experiment comparing the photolysis of 4-Nitrophenol alone to the photolysis of 4-Nitrophenol with secondary organic aerosol (SOA). We kept the concentration of 4-Nitrophenol constant with earlier trials and tried to model cloudwater concentrations of SOA. The SOA was prepared by other members of the lab and concentrated in vials. We extracted the SOA with water and added a dilute amount into solution with the 4-Nitrophenol. We then repeated the procedures of the earlier experiments: quartz vial wrapped with foil under xenon arc lamp. This experiment was repeated three times to isolate variables. Once with brown carbon only, once with SOA only, and once with both together. This experiment was conducted toward the end of the summer, so the data requires more analysis. The SOA, however, did not seem to affect the rate of photolysis as much as predicted.

We also began testing the effect of ammonium nitrate on the rate of brown carbon photolysis. These trials were conducted at the end of the summer research periods, and we will continue to investigate in the coming semester.

My research experience this summer was incredibly valuable. I learned so much about working in a lab, chemistry, and the process of investigation. I plan to continue working with this topic throughout the school year and am excited to see where the research process takes me.