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Title: Importance of sulfate radical anion formation and chemistry in heterogeneous OH oxidation of sodium methyl sulfate, the smallest organosulfate

Organosulfates are important organosulfur compounds present in atmospheric particles. While the abundance, composition, and formation mechanisms of organosulfates have been extensively investigated, it remains unclear how they transform and evolve throughout their atmospheric lifetime. To acquire a fundamental understanding of how organosulfates chemically transform in the atmosphere, this study investigates the heterogeneous OH radical-initiated oxidation of sodium methyl sulfate (CH 3SO 4Na) droplets, the smallest organosulfate detected in atmospheric particles, using an aerosol flow tube reactor at a high relative humidity (RH) of 85%. Aerosol mass spectra measured by a soft atmospheric pressure ionization source (direct analysis in real time, DART) coupled with a high-resolution mass spectrometer showed that neither functionalization nor fragmentation products are detected. Instead, the ion signal intensity of the bisulfate ion (HSO 4 -) has been found to increase significantly after OH oxidation. We postulate that sodium methyl sulfate tends to fragment into a formaldehyde (CH 2O) and a sulfate radical anion (SO 4 .-) upon OH oxidation. The formaldehyde is likely partitioned back to the gas phase due to its high volatility. The sulfate radical anion, similar to OH radical, can abstract a hydrogen atom from neighboring sodium methyl sulfate to form the bisulfate ion,more » contributing to the secondary chemistry. Kinetic measurements show that the heterogeneous OH reaction rate constant, k, is (3.79 ± 0.19) × 10 -13cm 3molecule -1s -1 with an effective OH uptake coefficient, γ eff, of 0.17 ± 0.03. While about 40% of sodium methyl sulfate is being oxidized at the maximum OH exposure (1.27 × 10 12molecule cm -3s), only a 3% decrease in particle diameter is observed. This can be attributed to a small fraction of particle mass lost via the formation and volatilization of formaldehyde. Overall, we firstly demonstrate that the heterogeneous OH oxidation of an organosulfate can lead to the formation of sulfate radical anion and produce inorganic sulfate. Fragmentation processes and sulfate radical anion chemistry play a key role in determining the compositional evolution of sodium methyl sulfate during heterogeneous OH oxidation.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong (China). Earth System Science Programme and Faculty of Science
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Chemical Sciences Division; Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Chemical Sciences Division
  4. Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong (China). Earth System Science Programme, Faculty of Science and the Inst. of Environment, Energy and Sustainability
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231; 4053159; 2191111
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324
European Geosciences Union
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Chemical Sciences, Geosciences & Biosciences Division; Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong (China)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: