Reactive uptake of an isoprene-derived epoxydiol to submicron aerosol particles

Cassandra J. Gaston, Theran P. Riedel, Zhenfa Zhang, Avram Gold, Jason D. Surratt, Joel A. Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


The reactive uptake of isoprene-derived epoxydiols (IEPOX) is thought to be a significant source of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol (SOA). However, the IEPOX reaction probability (γIEPOX) and its dependence upon particle composition remain poorly constrained. We report measurements of γIEPOX for trans-β-IEPOX, the predominant IEPOX isomer, on submicron particles as a function of composition, acidity, and relative humidity (RH). Particle acidity had the strongest effect. γIEPOX is more than 500 times greater on ammonium bisulfate (γ ∼ 0.05) than on ammonium sulfate (γ ≤ 1 × 10-4). We could accurately predict γIEPOX using an acid-catalyzed, epoxide ring-opening mechanism and a high Henry's law coefficient (1.7 × 108 M/atm). Suppression of γIEPOX was observed on particles containing both ammonium bisulfate and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-300), likely due to diffusion and solubility limitations within a PEG-300 coating, suggesting that IEPOX uptake could be self-limiting. Using the measured uptake kinetics, the predicted atmospheric lifetime of IEPOX is a few hours in the presence of highly acidic particles (pH < 0) but is greater than 25 h on less acidic particles (pH > 3). This work highlights the importance of aerosol acidity for accurately predicting the fate of IEPOX and anthropogenically influenced biogenic SOA formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11178-11186
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 7 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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