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Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM

Mimicking the atmospheric OH-radical-mediated photooxidation of isoprene: formation of cloud-condensation nuclei polyols monitored by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.


PMID 16767687

Abstract

Recently, it has been proposed (M. Claeys et al., Science 2004; 303: 1173) that the atmospheric OH-radical-mediated photooxidation of isoprene is a source of two major secondary organic aerosol (SOA) components, that is, 2-methylthreitol and 2-methylerythritol. These diastereoisomeric tetrols, which were characterized for the first time in the fine size fraction (<2.5 microm aerodynamic diameter) of aerosols collected in the Amazon rain forest during the wet season, were proposed to enhance the capability of the aerosols to act as cloud-condensation nuclei. In the present study, we performed the oxidation of isoprene in aqueous solution under conditions that attempted to mimic atmospheric OH-radical-induced photooxidization, and monitored and characterized on-line the reaction products via electrospray ionization mass (and tandem mass) spectrometry in the negative ion mode. The results show that the reaction of isoprene with photo- or chemically generated hydroxyl radicals indeed yields 2-methyltetrols. Other polyols were also detected, and they may therefore be considered as plausible SOA components eventually formed in normal or more extreme OH-radical-mediated photooxidation of biogenic isoprene.

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