Environmental science & technology

The OH-initiated oxidation of hexylene glycol and diacetone alcohol.

PMID 14524450


The OH-initiated oxidation of two VOCs directly emitted to the atmosphere through their use as industrial solvents, hexylene glycol (HG, (CH3)2C(OH)CH2CH(OH)CH3) and diacetone alcohol (DA, (CH3)2C(OH)CH2C(O)CH3), has been studied in two photoreactors: a 140 L Teflon bag irradiated by lamps at CNRS-Orleans and the 200 m3 European photoreactor, EUPHORE, irradiated by sunlight. The rate constants for the reactions of HG and DA with OH radicals have been determined at (298 +/- 3) K using a relative rate method: k(HG) = (1.5 +/- 0.4) x 10(-11) and k(DA) = (3.6 +/- 0.6) x 10(-12) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1) and have been found in good agreement with estimations from structure-reactivity relationships. The study at Orleans and EUPHORE of the OH-initiated oxidation of hexylene glycol showed the formation of diacetone alcohol, acetone, and PAN as the principal products. The branching ratio of the H-atom abstraction from the > CH- group of HG has been estimated to be (47 +/- 4)% corresponding to the measured formation yield of DA. The formation yields of acetone and PAN lead to the determination of a lower limit of (33 +/- 7)% for the branching ratio of the H-atom abstraction of the -CH2- group of HG. For diacetone alcohol, studies at EUPHORE have shown negligible photolysis under atmospheric conditions (J < 5 x 10(-6) s(-1)) and the formation of acetone, PAN, HCHO, and CO in the OH-initiated oxidation experiments. The molar yield of acetone, close to 100%, corresponds to the branching ratio of the H-atom abstraction from the -CH2- group of DA. The present study has allowed the identification of the nature and the fate of the oxy radicals as intermediates in the oxidation mechanism of both HG and DA. The atmospheric implication of these results, especially the ozone formation potential of HG and DA, is discussed.

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