Effect of gaseous ammonia on nicotine sorption

TitleEffect of gaseous ammonia on nicotine sorption
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsA.M. Webb, William W Nazaroff, Brett C Singer
Conference NameIndoor Air 2002, 9th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, July 1-5, 2002
PublisherInternational Academy of Indoor Air Sciences.
Conference LocationMonterey, CA
Keywordsenvironmental tobacco smoke, Indoor air chemistry, laboratory and field experiments, Pollutant sorption and desorption, VOCs and SVOCs
Abstract

Nicotine is a major constituent of environmental tobacco smoke. Sorptive interactions of nicotine with indoor surfaces can substantially alter indoor concentrations. The phenomenon is poorly understood, including whether sorption is fully reversible or partially irreversible. We hypothesize that acid-base chemistry on indoor surfaces might contribute to the apparent irreversibility of nicotine sorption under some circumstances. Specifically, we suggest that nicotine may become protonated on surfaces, markedly reducing its vapor pressure. If so, subsequent exposure of the surface to gaseous ammonia, a common base, could raise the surface pH, causing deprotonation and desorption of nicotine from surfaces. A series of experiments was conducted to explore the effect of ammonia on nicotine sorption to and reemission from surfaces. Our results indicate that, under some conditions, exposure to gaseous ammonia can substantially increase the rate of desorption of previously sorbed nicotine from common indoor surface materials.

LBNL Report Number

LBNL-50879