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Identification of Organic Nitrates in the NO3 Radical Initiated Oxidation of α-Pinene by Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2010, 00:00 by Véronique Perraud, Emily A. Bruns, Michael J. Ezell, Stanley N. Johnson, John Greaves, Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts
The gas-phase reactions of nitrate radicals (NO3) with biogenic organic compounds are a major sink for these organics during night-time. These reactions form secondary organic aerosols, including organic nitrates that can undergo long-range transport, releasing NOx downwind. We report here studies of the reaction of NO3 with α-pinene at 1 atm in dry synthetic air (relative humidity ∼3%) and at 298 K using atmospheric pressure chemical ionization triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (APCI-MS) to identify gaseous and particulate products. The emphasis is on the identification of individual organic nitrates in the particle phase that were obtained by passing the product mixture through a denuder to remove gas-phase reactants and products prior to entering the source region of the mass spectrometer. Filter extracts were also analyzed by GC-MS and by APCI time-of-flight mass spectrometry (APCI-ToF-MS) with methanol as the proton source. In addition to pinonaldehyde and pinonic acid, five organic nitrates were identified in the particles as well as in the gas phase: 3-oxopinane-2-nitrate, 2-hydroxypinane-3-nitrate, pinonaldehyde-PAN, norpinonaldehyde-PAN, and (3-acetyl-2,2-dimethyl-3-nitrooxycyclobutyl)acetaldehyde. Furthermore, there was an additional first-generation organic nitrate product tentatively identified as a carbonyl hydroxynitrate with a molecular mass of 229. These studies suggest that a variety of organic nitrates would partition between the gas phase and particles in the atmosphere, and serve as a reservoir for NOx.