Radical production from photosensitization of imidazoles

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Pablo Corral Arroyo1, Laura Gonzalez2, Sarah Steimer3, Raphael Aellig3, Rainer M Volkamer4, Christian George5, Thorsten Bartels-Rausch1 and Markus Ammann1, (1)Paul Scherrer Institute, Villingen, Switzerland, (2)University of Colorado, Boulder, United States, (3)Paul Scherrer Institut & ETH Zurich, Villigen PSI, Switzerland, (4)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (5)University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
Reactions promoted by light are key in atmospheric chemistry. Some of them occur in the condensed phase of aerosols containing light absorbing organic compounds (George et al., 2015). This work explores the radical reactions initiated by near-UV light in mixtures of citric acid (CA) and imidazole-2-carboxaldehyde (IC) using NO as a probe molecule for HO2, by means of coated wall flow tube experiments. Citric acid may act as H atom or electron donor in condensed phase radical cycles. IC may act as a photosensitizer. The loss of NO was measured by a chemiluminescence detector. The dependence of the NO loss on the NO concentration, the IC/CA ratio in the film, relative humidity, light intensity, oxygen molar fraction were investigated as well as the HONO and NO2 yields. We also added halide salts to investigate the effect of a competing electron donor in the system and the output of halogens to the gas phase. We found a correlation between the loss of NO above the film and the molar ratio of IC/CA and the light intensity. The variation of the NO loss with oxygen corroborates a mechanism, in which the triplet excited state of IC is reduced by citric acid, to a reduced ketyl radical that transfers an electron to molecular oxygen, which in turn leads to production of HO2 radicals. Therefore, the NO loss in the gas phase is related to the production of HO2 radicals. Relative humidity had a strong impact on the HO2 output, which shows a maximum production rate at around 30%. The addition of halide ions (X- = Cl-, Br-, I-) increases the HO2 output at low concentration and decrease it at higher concentration when X2- radical ions likely scavenge HO2. We could preliminarily quantify for the first time the contribution of these processes to the oxidative capacity in the atmosphere and conclude that their role is significant for aerosol aging and potentially a significant source of halogen compounds to the gas phase.