Articles | Volume 16, issue 11
Research article
10 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 10 Jun 2016

Characterization of polar organosulfates in secondary organic aerosol from the unsaturated aldehydes 2-E-pentenal, 2-E-hexenal, and 3-Z-hexenal

Mohammad Safi Shalamzari, Reinhilde Vermeylen, Frank Blockhuys, Tadeusz E. Kleindienst, Michael Lewandowski, Rafal Szmigielski, Krzysztof J. Rudzinski, Grzegorz Spólnik, Witold Danikiewicz, Willy Maenhaut, and Magda Claeys

Abstract. We show in the present study that the unsaturated aldehydes 2-E-pentenal, 2-E-hexenal, and 3-Z-hexenal are biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) precursors for polar organosulfates with molecular weights (MWs) 230 and 214, which are also present in ambient fine aerosol from a forested site, i.e., K-puszta, Hungary. These results complement those obtained in a previous study showing that the green leaf aldehyde 3-Z-hexenal serves as a precursor for MW 226 organosulfates. Thus, in addition to isoprene, the green leaf volatiles (GLVs) 2-E-hexenal and 3-Z-hexenal, emitted due to plant stress (mechanical wounding or insect attack), and 2-E-pentenal, a photolysis product of 3-Z-hexenal, should be taken into account for secondary organic aerosol and organosulfate formation. Polar organosulfates are of climatic relevance because of their hydrophilic properties and cloud effects. Extensive use was made of organic mass spectrometry (MS) and detailed interpretation of MS data (i.e., ion trap MS and accurate mass measurements) to elucidate the chemical structures of the MW 230, 214 and 170 organosulfates formed from 2-E-pentenal and indirectly from 2-E-hexenal and 3-Z-hexenal. In addition, quantum chemical calculations were performed to explain the different mass spectral behavior of 2,3-dihydroxypentanoic acid sulfate derivatives, where only the isomer with the sulfate group at C-3 results in the loss of SO3. The MW 214 organosulfates formed from 2-E-pentenal are explained by epoxidation of the double bond in the gas phase and sulfation of the epoxy group with sulfuric acid in the particle phase through the same pathway as that proposed for 3-sulfooxy-2-hydroxy-2-methylpropanoic acid from the isoprene-related α,β-unsaturated aldehyde methacrolein in previous work (Lin et al., 2013). The MW 230 organosulfates formed from 2-E-pentenal are tentatively explained by a novel pathway, which bears features of the latter pathway but introduces an additional hydroxyl group at the C-4 position. Evidence is also presented that the MW 214 positional isomer, 2-sulfooxy-3-hydroxypentanoic acid, is unstable and decarboxylates, giving rise to 1-sulfooxy-2-hydroxybutane, a MW 170 organosulfate. Furthermore, evidence is obtained that lactic acid sulfate is generated from 2-E-pentenal. This chemistry could be important on a regional and local scale where GLV emissions such as from grasses and cereal crops are substantial.

Short summary
Evidence is provided that the green leaf aldehydes 2-E-pentenal, 2-E-hexenal, and 3-Z-hexenal are precursors for secondary organic aerosol, namely, organosulfates with MWs 230, 214, and 170. The structures were elucidated with liquid chromatography/(−)electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (MS), involving accurate mass measurements and ion trap MS. It is shown that the MW 214 isomer with the sulfate group at the C-2 position is unstable and decarboxylates to a MW 170 organosulfate.
Final-revised paper