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The active titration method for measuring local hydroxyl radical concentrationWe are developing a method for measuring ambient OH by monitoring its rate of reaction with a chemical species. Our technique involves the local, instantaneous release of a mixture of saturated cyclic hydrocarbons (titrants) and perfluorocarbons (dispersants). These species must not normally be present in ambient air above the part per trillion concentration. We then track the mixture downwind using a real-time portable ECD tracer instrument. We collect air samples in canisters every few minutes for roughly one hour. We then return to the laboratory and analyze our air samples to determine the ratios of the titrant to dispersant concentrations. The trends in these ratios give us the ambient OH concentration from the relation: dlnR/dt = -k(OH). A successful measurement of OH requires that the trends in these ratios be measureable. We must not perturb ambient OH concentrations. The titrant to dispersant ratio must be spatially invariant. Finally, heterogeneous reactions of our titrant and dispersant species must be negligible relative to the titrant reaction with OH. We have conducted laboratory studies of our ability to measure the titrant to dispersant ratios as a function of concentration down to the few part per trillion concentration. We have subsequently used these results in a gaussian puff model to estimate our expected uncertainty in a field measurement of OH. Our results indicate that under a range of atmospheric conditions we expect to be able to measure OH with a sensitivity of 3x10(exp 5) cm(exp -3). In our most optimistic scenarios, we obtain a sensitivity of 1x10(exp 5) cm(exp -3). These sensitivity values reflect our anticipated ability to measure the ratio trends. However, because we are also using a rate constant to obtain our (OH) from this ratio trend, our accuracy cannot be better than that of the rate constant, which we expect to be about 20 percent.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sprengnether, Michele (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Prinn, Ronald G. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: SRI International Corp., Local Measurement of Tropospheric HO(x)
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19940024084Analytic PrimaryLocal Measurement of Tropospheric HO(x)