Autoxidation of Organic Compounds in the Atmosphere
Gas-phase autoxidation (regenerative organic peroxy radical formation following intramolecular hydrogen shifts) is known to be important in the combustion of organic materials. The relevance of this chemistry for atmospheric oxidation has received less attention due, in part, to the lack of kinetic data at relevant temperatures. Computational and experimental approaches to investigate the rate of autoxidation for organic peroxy radicals (RO2) produced in the oxidation of typical organic compounds found in the atmosphere are describe. We find that autoxidation pathways are competitive against bimolecular reactions for a broad range of substrates, including many that result from urban and biogenic emissions. This chemistry can efficiently generate highly oxidized organic molecules known to contribute to particle formation and growth. The formation of organic hydroperoxides from atmospheric autoxidation has unknown implications for air quality.
Host: Dr. Lester