Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


A recent study of biomass fires and some field measurements have revealed that isocyanic acid can reach levels as high as 600 ppbv near fires and up to 200 pptv in ambient air. After the solubility was measured for the first time, it was then possible for any potential human health effects of HNCO to be evaluated. HNCO is highly soluble in the human body given that the physiological pH is 7.4, and there exists an increased risk for atherosclerosis, cataracts, and rheumatoid arthritis via protein carbamylation. Based on preliminary experimental results conducted at a pH of 3.0 ± 0.1 and room temperature (T = 25 ± 1°C), Henry’s coefficient was found to be 21.1 ± 2.7 M/atm with the first order loss rate k = (6.3 ± 1.6) x 10-4 s-1 (in solution).