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OH Radical-Initiated Chemistry of Isoprene in Aqueous Media. Atmospheric Implications

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Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, California Institute of Technology, California 91125, United States
*E-mail: [email protected]. Phone: 626-395-6350.
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. A 2013, 117, 24, 5117–5123
Publication Date (Web):May 22, 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society

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    The fate of isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene, ISO) emissions into the atmosphere is not fully understood. Increasing awareness that ISO is only partially processed in the gas-phase has turned attention to its reactive uptake by fog, cloud, and aerosol droplets. A hydrophobic gas, ISO would preferentially partition to the surface rather than the bulk of aqueous media. Such media normally contain dissolved O2 and water-soluble unsaturated organics and support •OH generation rates (from the solar photolysis of dissolved H2O2) that are several orders of magnitude larger than in the gas-phase. Thus, ISO should be converted therein to heavier products rather than into the C4–C5 volatile compounds produced in the gas-phase. Here we substantiate such a scenario by reporting that the λ > 305 nm photolysis of H2O2 in dilute aqueous ISO solutions yields C10H15OH species as primary products, whose formation both requires and is inhibited by O2. A minimum of seven C10H15OH isomers are resolved by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and detected as MH+ (m/z = 153) and MH+-18 (m/z = 135) signals by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Our findings are consistent with the addition of •OH to ISO, followed by HO-ISO• reactions with ISO in competition with O2, leading to second generation HO(ISO)2• radicals that terminate as C10H15OH via β-H abstraction by O2. We show that a significant fraction of gas-phase olefins should be converted into less volatile species via this process on wet airborne particles.

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