Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Research article
09 Jan 2012
Research article |  | 09 Jan 2012

Acid-yield measurements of the gas-phase ozonolysis of ethene as a function of humidity using Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (CIMS)

K. E. Leather, M. R. McGillen, M. C. Cooke, S. R. Utembe, A. T. Archibald, M. E. Jenkin, R. G. Derwent, D. E. Shallcross, and C. J. Percival

Abstract. Gas-phase ethene ozonolysis experiments were conducted at room temperature to determine formic acid yields as a function of relative humidity (RH) using the integrated EXTreme RAnge chamber-Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry technique, employing a CH3I ionisation scheme. RHs studied were <1, 11, 21, 27, 30 % and formic acid yields of (0.07±0.01) and (0.41±0.07) were determined at <1 % RH and 30 % RH respectively, showing a strong water dependence. It has been possible to estimate the ratio of the rate coefficient for the reaction of the Criegee biradical, CH2OO with water compared with decomposition. This analysis suggests that the rate of reaction with water ranges between 1×10−12–1×10−15 cm3 molecule−1 s−1 and will therefore dominate its loss with respect to bimolecular processes in the atmosphere. Global model integrations suggest that this reaction between CH2OO and water may dominate the production of HC(O)OH in the atmosphere.

Final-revised paper