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Experimental and Theoretical Study of the OH-Initiated Degradation of Piperazine under Simulated Atmospheric Conditions

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Published copy (DOI)


  • Wen Tan
  • Liang Zhu
  • Tomas Mikoviny
  • Claus J Nielsen
  • Armin Wisthaler
  • Barbara D'Anna
  • Simen Antonsen
  • Yngve Stenstrøm
  • Naomi J Farren
  • Jacqueline F Hamilton
  • Graham A Boustead
  • Alexander D Brennan
  • Trevor Ingham
  • Dwayne E Heard


Publication details

JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
DateE-pub ahead of print - 30 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish


The OH-initiated photo-oxidation of piperazine and 1-nitropiperazine as well as the photolysis of 1-nitrosopiperazine were investigated in a large atmospheric simulation chamber. The rate coefficient for the reaction of piperazine with OH radicals was determined by the relative rate method to be kOH-piperazine = (2.8 ± 0.6) × 10-10 cm3 molecule-1 s-1 at 307 ± 2 K and 1014 ± 2 hPa. Product studies showed the piperazine + OH reaction to proceed both via C-H and N-H abstraction, resulting in the formation of 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyrazine as the major product and in 1-nitropiperazine and 1-nitrosopiperazine as minor products. The branching in the piperazinyl radical reactions with NO, NO2, and O2 was obtained from 1-nitrosopiperazine photolysis experiments and employed analyses of the 1-nitropiperazine and 1-nitrosopiperazine temporal profiles observed during piperazine photo-oxidation. The derived initial branching between N-H and C-H abstraction by OH radicals, kN-H/(kN-H + kC-H), was 0.18 ± 0.04. All experiments were accompanied by substantial aerosol formation that was initiated by the reaction of piperazine with nitric acid. Both primary and secondary photo-oxidation products including 1-nitropiperazine and 1,4-dinitropiperazine were detected in the aerosol particles formed. Corroborating atmospheric photo-oxidation schemes for piperazine and 1-nitropiperazine were derived from M06-2X/aug-cc-pVTZ quantum chemistry calculations and master equation modeling of the pivotal reaction steps. The atmospheric chemistry of piperazine is evaluated, and a validated chemical mechanism for implementation in dispersion models is presented.

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