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Aqueous oxidation of green leaf volatiles by hydroxyl radical as a source of SOA: Kinetics and SOA yields

Atmospheric Environment
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2014.06.026
  • Secondary Organic Aerosol
  • Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Multiphase Chemistry


Abstract Green leaf volatiles (GLVs) are a class of oxygenated hydrocarbons released from vegetation, especially during mechanical stress or damage. The potential for GLVs to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA) via aqueous-phase reactions is not known. Fog events over vegetation will lead to the uptake of GLVs into water droplets, followed by aqueous-phase reactions with photooxidants such as the hydroxyl radical (OH). In order to determine if the aqueous oxidation of GLVs by OH can be a significant source of secondary organic aerosol, we studied the partitioning and reaction of five GLVs: cis-3-hexen-1-ol, cis-3-hexenyl acetate, methyl salicylate, methyl jasmonate, and 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol. For each GLV we measured the kinetics of aqueous oxidation by OH, and the corresponding SOA mass yield. The second-order rate constants for GLVs with OH were all near diffusion controlled, (5.4–8.6) × 109 M−1 s−1 at 298 K, and showed a small temperature dependence, with an average activation energy of 9.3 kJ mol−1 Aqueous-phase SOA mass yields ranged from 10 to 88%, although some of the smaller values were not statistically different from zero. Methyl jasmonate was the most effective aqueous-phase SOA precursor due to its larger Henry's law constant and high SOA mass yield (68 ± 8%). While we calculate that the aqueous-phase SOA formation from the five GLVs is a minor source of aqueous-phase SOA, the availability of other GLVs, other oxidants, and interfacial reactions suggest that GLVs overall might be a significant source of SOA via aqueous reactions.

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