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    The atmospheric chemistry of isoprene has broad implications for regional air quality and the global climate. Allylic radicals, taking 13-17% yield in the isoprene oxidation by •Cl, can contribute as much as 3.6-4.9% to all possible formed intermediates in local regions at daytime. Considering the large quantity of isoprene emission, the chemistry of the allylic radicals is therefore highly desirable. Here, we investigated the atmospheric oxidation mechanism of the allylic radicals using quantum chemical calculations and kinetics modeling. The results indicate that the allylic radicals can barrierlessly combine with O2 to form peroxy radicals (RO2•). Under ≤100 ppt NO and ≤50 ppt HO2• conditions, the formed RO2• mainly undergo two times "successive cyclization and O2 addition" to finally form the product fragments 2-alkoxy-acetaldehyde (C2H3O2•) and 3-hydroperoxy-2-oxopropanal (C3H4O4). The presented reaction illustrates a novel successive cyclization-driven autoxidation mechanism. The formed 3-hydroperoxy-2-oxopropanal product is a new isomer of the atmospheric C3H4O4 family and a potential aqueous-phase secondary organic aerosol precursor. Under >100 ppt NO condition, NO can mediate the cyclization-driven autoxidation process to form C5H7NO3, C5H7NO7, and alkoxy radical-related products. The proposed novel autoxidation mechanism advances our current understanding of the atmospheric chemistry of both isoprene and RO2•.


    Fangfang Ma, Xirui Guo, Deming Xia, Hong-Bin Xie, Yonghong Wang, Jonas Elm, Jingwen Chen, Junfeng Niu. Atmospheric Chemistry of Allylic Radicals from Isoprene: A Successive Cyclization-Driven Autoxidation Mechanism. Environmental science & technology. 2021 Apr 20;55(8):4399-4409

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    PMID: 33769798

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