Characterization of polar organosulfates in secondary organic aerosol from the unsaturated aldehydes 2-E-pentenal, 2-E-hexenal, and 3-Z-hexenal
- 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
- 2Department of Analytical Chemistry, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
- 3Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium
- 4National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711, USA
- 5Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, 01-224 Warsaw, Poland
- 6Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, 01-224 Warsaw, Poland
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.