Catalytic role of formaldehyde in particulate matter formation.

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Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Document Type: Article
Length: 8,511 words
Lexile Measure: 1430L

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Abstract :

Formaldehyde (HCHO), the simplest and most abundant carbonyl in the atmosphere, contributes to particulate matter (PM) formation via two in-cloud processing pathways. First, in a catalytic pathway, HCHO reacts with hydrogen peroxide ([H.sub.2][O.sub.2]) to form hydroxymethyl hydroperoxide (HMHP), which rapidly oxidizes dissolved sulfur dioxide (S[O.sub.2,aq]) to sulfate, regenerating HCHO. Second, HCHO reacts with dissolved S[O.sub.2,aq] to form hydroxymethanesulfonate (HMS), which upon oxidation with the hydroxyl radical (OH) forms sulfate and also reforms HCHO. Chemical transport model simulations using rate coefficients from laboratory studies of the reaction rate of HMHP with S[O.sub.2aq] show that the HMHP pathways reduce the S[O.sub.2] lifetime by up to a factor of 2 and contribute up to ~18% of global sulfate. This contribution rises to 50% in isoprene-dominated regions such as the Amazon. Combined with recent results on HMS, this work demonstrates that the one-carbon molecules HMHP and HCHO contribute significantly to global PM, with HCHO playing a crucial catalytic role. formaldehyde | dissolved sulfur dioxide | catalysis | hydroxymethyl hydroperoxide | hydroxymethanesulfonate

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A694417968