Distinct photochemistry in glycine particles mixed with different atmospheric nitrate salts

Zhancong Liang, Zhihao Cheng, Ruifeng Zhang, Yiming Qin, Chak Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particulate free amino acids (FAAs) are essential components of organonitrogen that have critical climate impacts, and they are usually considered stable end-products from protein degradation. In this work, we investigated the decay of glycine (GC) as a model FAA under the photolysis of different particulate nitrate salts using an in situ Micro-Raman system. Upon cycling the relative humidity (RH) between 3 % and 80 % RH, ammonium nitrate (AN) and GC mixed particles did not exhibit any phase change, whereas sodium nitrate (SN) and GC mixed particles crystallized at 60 % and deliquesced at 82 % RH. Under light illumination at 80 % RH, AN + GC particles showed almost no spectral changes, while rapid decays of glycine and nitrate were observed in SN + GC particles. The interactions between nitrate and glycine in AN + GC particles suppressed crystallization but also hindered nitrate photolysis and glycine decay. On the other hand, glycine may form a complex with Na+ in deliquescent SN + GC particles and allow unbonded nitrate to undergo photolysis and trigger glycine decay, though nitrate photolysis was greatly hindered upon particle crystallization. Our work provides insights into how FAAs may interact with different nitrate salts under irradiation and lead to distinct decay rates, which facilitates their atmospheric lifetime estimation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9585-9595
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 29 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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