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Title: Revisiting the reaction of dicarbonyls in aerosol proxy solutions containing ammonia: the case of butenedial
Reactions in aqueous solutions containing dicarbonyls (especially the α-dicarbonyls methylglyoxal, glyoxal, and biacetyl) and reduced nitrogen (NHx) have been studied extensively. It has been proposed that accretion reactions from dicarbonyls and NHx could be a source of particulate matter and brown carbon in the atmosphere and therefore have direct implications for human health and climate. Other dicarbonyls, such as the 1,4-unsaturated dialdehyde butenedial, are also produced from the atmospheric oxidation of volatile organic compounds, especially aromatics and furans, but their aqueous-phase reactions with NHx have not been characterized. In this work, we determine a pH-dependent mechanism of butenedial reactions in aqueous solutions with NHx that is compared to α-dicarbonyls, in particular the dialdehyde glyoxal. Similar to glyoxal, butenedial is strongly hydrated in aqueous solutions. Butenedial reaction with NHx also produces nitrogen-containing rings and leads to accretion reactions that form brown carbon. Despite glyoxal and butenedial both being dialdehydes, butenedial is observed to have three significant differences in its chemical behavior: (1) as previously shown, butenedial does not substantially form acetal oligomers, (2) the butenedial/OH− reaction leads to light-absorbing compounds, and (3) the butenedial/NHx reaction is fast and first order in the dialdehyde. Building off of a complementary study on butenedial more » gas-particle partitioning, we suggest that the behavior of other reactive dialdehydes and dicarbonyls may not always be adequately predicted by α-dicarbonyls, even though their dominant functionalities are closely related. The carbon skeleton (e.g., its hydrophobicity, length, and bond structure) also governs the fate and climate-relevant properties of dicarbonyls in the atmosphere. If other dicarbonyls behave like butenedial, their reaction with NHx could constitute a regional source of brown carbon to the atmosphere. « less
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Atmospheric chemistry and physics
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National Science Foundation
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