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Photooxidation of 2-methyl-3-Buten-2-ol (MBO) as a potential source of secondary organic aerosol.

Environmental science & technology (2009-08-14)
Arthur W H Chan, Melissa M Galloway, Alan J Kwan, Puneet S Chhabra, Frank N Keutsch, Paul O Wennberg, Richard C Flagan, John H Seinfeld

2-Methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO) is an important biogenic hydrocarbon emitted in large quantities by pine forests. Atmospheric photooxidation of MBO is known to lead to oxygenated compounds, such as glycolaldehyde, which is the precursor to glyoxal. Recent studies have shown that the reactive uptake of glyoxal onto aqueous particles can lead to formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). In this work, MBO photooxidation under high- and low-NO(x) conditions was performed in dual laboratory chambers to quantify the yield of glyoxal and investigate the potential for SOA formation. The yields of glycolaldehyde and 2-hydroxy-2-methylpropanal (HMPR), fragmentation products of MBO photooxidation, were observed to be lower at lower NO(x) concentrations. Overall, the glyoxal yield from MBO photooxidation was 25% under high-NO(x) and 4% under low-NO(x) conditions. In the presence of wet ammonium sulfate seed and under high-NO(x) conditions, glyoxal uptake and SOA formation were not observed conclusively, due to relatively low (< 30 ppb) glyoxal concentrations. Slight aerosol formation was observed under low-NO(x) and dry conditions, with aerosol mass yields on the order of 0.1%. The small amount of SOA was not related to glyoxal uptake, but is likely a result of reactions similar to those that generate isoprene SOA under low-NO(x) conditions. The difference in aerosol yields between MBO and isoprene photooxidation under low-NO(x) conditions is consistent with the difference in vapor pressures between triols (from MBO) and tetrols (from isoprene). Despite its structural similarity to isoprene, photooxidation of MBO is not expected to make a significant contribution to SOA formation.

Product Number
Product Description

2-Methyl-3-buten-2-ol, 98%