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Criegee Intermediates React with Levoglucosan on Water

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journal contribution
posted on 02.08.2017, 00:00 by Shinichi Enami, Michael R. Hoffmann, A. J. Colussi
Levoglucosan (Levo), a C6-anhydrosaccharide produced in the combustion of cellulosic materials, is the major component of aerosols produced from biomass burning over vast regions worldwide. Levo has long been considered chemically inert and thus has been used as a tracer of biomass burning sources. However, we now show that sugars including Levo, glucose, arabitol, and mannitol react rapidly with Criegee intermediates (CIs) generated during the ozonolysis of sesquiterpenes on the surface of water:acetonitrile microjets. Hydrophilic Levo reacts faster with CIs than with water or surface-active 1-octanol at air–aqueous interfaces. This unexpected phenomenon is likely associated with the relatively low water density at air–aqueous interfaces coupled with a higher gas-phase acidity of the saccharide hydroxyl groups (i.e., −OH) versus n-alkanols. Results presented herein show that aerosol saccharides are in fact reactive toward CIs. Given the abundance of saccharides in the atmosphere, they may be important contributors to the growth and mass loading of secondary organic aerosols.