Common inorganic ions are efficient catalysts for organic reactions in atmospheric aerosols and other natural environments
2009 (English)In: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, Vol. 9, no 1, 1-21 p.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
In this work, inorganic ammonium ions, NH4+, and carbonate ions, CO32-, are reported for the first time as catalysts for organic reactions in atmospheric aerosols and other natural environments at the Earth’s surface. These reactions include the formation of C-C and C-O bonds by aldol condensation and acetal formation, and reveal a new aspect of the interactions between organic and inorganic materials in natural environments. The catalytic properties of inorganic ammonium ions, in particular, were not previously known in chemistry. The reactions were found to be as fast in tropospheric ammonium sulfate composition as in concentrated sulfuric acid. The ubiquitous presence and large concentrations of ammonium ions in tropospheric aerosols would make of ammonium catalysis a main consumption pathway for organic compounds in these aerosols, while acid catalysis would have a minor contribution. In particular, ammonium catalysis would account quantitatively for the aging of carbonyl compounds into secondary “fulvic” compounds in tropospheric aerosols, a transformation affecting the optical properties of these aerosols. In general, ammonium catalysis is likely to be responsible for many observations previously attributed to acid catalysis in the troposphere.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 9, no 1, 1-21 p.
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences Chemical Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-17134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-17134DiVA: diva2:183654