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Modeling the impact of iron-carboxylate photochemistry on radical budget and carboxylate degradation in cloud droplets and particles

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JournalEnvironmental science & technology
DatePublished - 2014
Issue number10
Volume48
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)5652-5659
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

To quantify the effects of an advanced iron photochemistry scheme, the chemical aqueous-phase radical mechanism (CAPRAM 3.0i) has been updated with several new Fe(III)-carboxylate complex photolysis reactions. Newly introduced ligands are malonate, succinate, tartrate, tartronate, pyruvate, and glyoxalate. Model simulations show that more than 50% of the total Fe(III) is coordinated by oxalate and up to 20% of total Fe(III) is bound in the newly implemented 1:1 complexes with tartronate, malonate, and pyruvate. Up to 20% of the total Fe(III) is found in hydroxo and sulfato complexes. The fraction of [Fe(oxalate)2](-) and [Fe(pyruvate)](2+) is significantly higher during nighttime than during daytime, which points toward a strong influence of photochemistry on these species. Fe(III) complex photolysis is an important additional sink for tartronate, pyruvate, and oxalate, with a complex photolysis contribution to overall degradation of 46, 40, and 99%, respectively, compared to all possible sink reactions with atmospheric aqueous-phase radicals, such as (•)OH, NO3(•), and SO4(•) (-). Simulated aerosol particles have a much lower liquid water content than cloud droplets, thus leading to high concentrations of species and, consequently, an enhancement of the photolysis sink reactions in the aerosol particles. The simulations showed that Fe(III) photochemistry should not be neglected when considering the fate of carboxylic acids, which constitute a major part of aqueous secondary organic aerosol (aqSOA) in tropospheric cloud droplets and aqueous particles. Failure to consider this loss pathway has the potential to result in a significant overestimate of aqSOA production.

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