Journal article

Oxidation of Carboxylic Acids Regenerates Hydroxyl Radicals in the Unpolluted and Nighttime Troposphere

Gabriel da Silva

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A | AMER CHEMICAL SOC | Published : 2010

Abstract

The hydroxyl radical (OH) controls the removal of organic compounds from the troposphere. Atmospheric chemistry models significantly under-predict OH levels in unpolluted environments, implying that they are regenerated via some unknown mechanism(s). This work uses computational chemistry to demonstrate that the photochemical oxidation of alkyl carboxylic acids can efficiently regenerate the hydroxyl radical via unimolecular decomposition of alpha-carboxyalkylperoxy radicals. For acetic acid and propanoic acid the proposed mechanism is predicted to dominate in the unpolluted lower troposphere, and it may also operate to some extent in the mid to upper troposphere. Alkyl carboxylic acids are ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers