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Chemistry Colloquium with Professor Andrew Berke, Smith College

Fri, September 13th, 2019
1:10 pm
- 2:30 pm

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“Peering inside: Understanding aerosol chemistry through bulk-phase reactions”

The reaction between an a-dicabonyl and an amine is a model system for the production of light-absorbing compounds in secondary organic aerosol (SOAs). In the atmosphere, SOA-producing reactions can be perturbed by the myriad airborne chemicals that can enter the particle phase. These compounds can also play a role in mediating (or hindering) the chemical transformations that take place in an aerosol aqueous environment. We seek to understand the role small, atmospherically prevalent organic compounds have on the solvent matrix within which SOA-forming chemical reactions take place. Specifically, our research focuses on understanding the effects of organic compounds containing functional groups such as alcohols, nitriles, and ketones on the chemistry and physical properties of bulk-phase SOA-mimicking solutions that contain glyoxal and ammonium sulfate. Results will be presented for solution matrices that contain short-chain alcohols (methanol, ethanol, propanols, and butanols), diols (propanediols and butanediols), acetonitrile, and acetone. We follow the production kinetics of light-absorbing compounds via UV-Vis measurements, bulk solution properties such as viscosity, and changes to intermolecular interactions within the solvent matrix through infrared spectroscopy (IR-ATR). Perturbations to the solvent environment have wide-ranging effects on the reaction between glyoxal and ammonium sulfate and will be presented, including changes to solution viscosity and reaction kinetics as functions of species and concentration added.

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