Effect of ammonia on ozone-initiated formation of indoor secondary products with emissions from cleaning products

Yu Huang, Shun Cheng Lee, Kin Fai Ho, Steven Sai Hang Ho, Nanying Cao, Yan Cheng, Yuan Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted from cleaning products and air fresheners indoors are prone to oxidation resulting in the formation of secondary pollutants that can pose health risks on residents. Ammonia (NH3) is ubiquitous in ambient and indoor environments. In this study, we investigated the effect of ammonia (NH3) on secondary pollutants formation from the ozonolysis of BVOCs emitted from cleaning products including floor cleaner (FC), kitchen cleaner (KC) and dishwashing detergent (DD) in a large environmental chamber. Our results demonstrated that the presence of NH3(maximum concentration is 240 ppb) could significantly enhance secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) formation from the ozonolysis of all the three categories of cleaning products. For example, for the FC sample, the maximum total particle concentration was up to 2.0 × 104# cm-3in the presence of NH3, while it was 1.3 × 104# cm-3which was 35% lower without NH3. However, it was found that the extent of NH3effect on SOAs formation from the ozonolysis of BVOCs emissions was component-dependent. The presence of NH3in the reaction systems could increase the consumptions of d-limonene that is the dominant BVOC species as identified in cleaning products. The percent yields (%) of secondary carbonyl compounds generated from the ozonolysis of BVOCs emitted from three categories of cleaning products were identified in the presence and absence of NH3, respectively. The increase in SOAs particle number concentration can be attributed to the formation of condensable salts from reactions between NH3and organic compounds generated from the BVOCs ozonolysis processes. By investigating the NH3effect on the ozonolysis of BVOCs mixtures in contrast to the chemistry of individual compounds, a better assessment can be made of the overall impact cleaning products have on real indoor environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Ammonia effect
  • Biogenic volatile organic compounds
  • Cleaning products
  • Indoor secondary pollutants
  • Ozonolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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