Kinetics of acid-catalyzed aldol condensation reactions of aliphatic aldehydes
Field observations of atmospheric aerosols have established that organic compounds compose a large fraction of the atmospheric aerosol mass. However, the physical/chemical pathway by which organic compounds are incorporated into atmospheric aerosols remains unclear. The potential role of acid-catalyzed reactions of organic compounds on acidic aerosols has been explored as a possible chemical pathway for the incorporation of organic material into aerosols. In the present study, ultravioletÃ¢ visible (UVÃ¢ vis) spectroscopy was used to monitor the kinetics of formation of the products of the acid-catalyzed aldol condensation reaction of a range of aliphatic aldehydes (C2Ã¢ C8). The experiments were carried out at various sulfuric acid concentrations and a range of temperatures in order to estimate the rate constants of such reactions on sulfuric acid aerosols under tropospheric conditions. The rate constants were generally found to decrease as the chain length of the aliphatic aldehyde increased (except for acetaldehyde, which had an unusually small rate constant), increase as a function of sulfuric acid concentration as predicted by excess acidity theory, and showed normal Arrhenius behavior as a function of temperature. While the kinetic data are generally consistent with previous laboratory reports of aldehyde reactivity in various sulfuric acid media, the aldol condensation reactions involving aliphatic aldehydes do not appear fast enough to be responsible for significant transfer of organic material into atmospheric aerosols.
Casale, M.T., A.R. Richman, M.J. Elrod, R.M. Garland, M.R. Beaver, and M.A. Tolbert. 2007. "Kinetics of Acid-Catalyzed Aldol Condensation Reactions of Aliphatic Aldehydes." Atmospheric Environment 41(29): 6212-6224.
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Troposphere, Organic aerosols, Acid-catalyzed reactions, Kinetics