Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Detecting Intermediates and Products of Fast Heterogeneous Reactions on Liquid Surfaces via Online Mass Spectrometry

Version 1 : Received: 31 October 2018 / Approved: 31 October 2018 / Online: 31 October 2018 (10:54:59 CET)

How to cite: Colussi, A.J.; Enami, S. Detecting Intermediates and Products of Fast Heterogeneous Reactions on Liquid Surfaces via Online Mass Spectrometry. Preprints 2018, 2018100750 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201810.0750.v1). Colussi, A.J.; Enami, S. Detecting Intermediates and Products of Fast Heterogeneous Reactions on Liquid Surfaces via Online Mass Spectrometry. Preprints 2018, 2018100750 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201810.0750.v1).

Abstract

One of the research priorities in atmospheric chemistry is to advance our understanding of heterogeneous reactions and their effect on the composition of the troposphere. Chemistry on aqueous surfaces is particularly important in this regard because of their ubiquity and expanse. They range from the surfaces of oceans (360 million km2), cloud and aerosol drops (~10 trillion km2) to the fluids lining the human lung (~200 m2). Typically, ambient air contains reactive gases that may affect human health, influence climate and participate in biogeochemical cycles. Despite their importance, reactions between gases and solutes at air-aqueous interfaces are not well understood. New, surface-specific techniques are required that detect and identify the intermediates and products of such reactions as they happen on liquids. This is a tall order because genuine interfacial reactions are faster than mass diffusion into bulk liquids, and may produce novel species at low concentrations. Herein, we review evidence that validates online pneumatic ionization mass spectrometry of liquid microjets dosed by reactive gases as a technique meeting such requirements. Next, we call attention to results obtained by this approach on reactions of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and hydroxyl radicals with various solutes on aqueous surfaces. The overarching conclusion is that the outermost layers of aqueous solutions are unique media, where equilibria shift and reactions proceed faster than, in some cases along different pathways from the bulk liquids. The fact that the rates and mechanisms of reactions at air-aqueous interfaces may not be deduced from experiments in bulk liquids opens new conceptual frameworks and lines of research, and adds an overlooked dimension to atmospheric chemistry.

Subject Areas

fast gas-liquid reactions; online electrospray ionization mass spectrometry; heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry

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