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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 8, 2023
  2. The neonicotinoid nitenpyram (NPM) is a multifunctional nitroenamine [(R1N)(R2N)C=CHNO2] pesticide. As a nitroalkene, it is structurally similar to other emerging contaminants such as the pharmaceuticals ranitidine and nizatidine. Because ozone is a common atmospheric oxidant, such compounds may be oxidized on contact with air to form new products that have different toxicity compared to the parent compounds. Here we show that oxidation of thin solid films of NPM by gas-phase ozone produces unexpected products, the majority of which do not contain oxygen, despite the highly oxidizing reactant. A further surprising finding is the formation of gas-phase nitrous acid (HONO), a species known to be a major photolytic source of the highly reactive hydroxyl radical in air. The results of application of a kinetic multilayer model show that reaction was not restricted to the surface layers but, at sufficiently high ozone concentrations, occurred throughout the film. The rate constant derived for the O3−NPM reaction is 1 × 10−18cm3⋅s−1, and the diffusion coefficient of ozone in the thin film is 9 × 10−10cm2⋅s−1. These findings highlight the unique chemistry of multifunctional nitroenamines and demonstrate that known chemical mechanisms for individual moieties in such compounds cannot be extrapolated from simple alkenes. This ismore »critical for guiding assessments of the environmental fates and impacts of pesticides and pharmaceuticals, and for providing guidance in designing better future alternatives.

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  3. Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a key polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) often associated with soot particles coated by organic compounds, is a known carcinogen and mutagen. When mixed with organics, the kinetics and mechanisms of chemical transformations of BaP by ozone in indoor and outdoor environments are still not fully elucidated. Using direct analysis in real-time mass spectrometry (DART-MS), kinetics studies of the ozonolysis of BaP in thin films exhibited fast initial loss of BaP followed by a slower decay at long exposure times. Kinetic multilayer modeling demonstrates that the slow decay of BaP over long times can be simulated if there is slow diffusion of BaP from the film interior to the surface, resolving long-standing unresolved observations of incomplete PAH decay upon prolonged ozone exposure. Phase separation drives the slow diffusion time scales in multicomponent systems. Specifically, thermodynamic modeling predicts that BaP phase separates from secondary organic aerosol material so that the BaP-rich layer at the surface shields the inner BaP from ozone. Also, BaP is miscible with organic oils such as squalane, linoleic acid, and cooking oil, but its oxidation products are virtually immiscible, resulting in the formation of a viscous surface crust that hinders diffusion of BaP from the filmmore »interior to the surface. These findings imply that phase separation and slow diffusion significantly prolong the chemical lifetime of PAHs, affecting long-range transport of PAHs in the atmosphere and their fates in indoor environments.« less