University of Oulu

Michailoudi, G., Lin, J. J., Yuzawa, H., Nagasaka, M., Huttula, M., Kosugi, N., Kurtén, T., Patanen, M., and Prisle, N. L.: Aqueous-phase behavior of glyoxal and methylglyoxal observed with carbon and oxygen K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 2881–2894,, 2021.

Aqueous-phase behavior of glyoxal and methylglyoxal observed with carbon and oxygen K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy

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Author: Michailoudi, Georgia1; Lin, Jack J.1; Yuzawa, Hayato2;
Organizations: 1Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Institute for Molecular Science, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan
3Department of Chemistry and Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 55, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
4Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4500, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Copernicus Publications, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-03-08


Glyoxal (CHOCHO) and methylglyoxal (CH₃C(O)CHO) are well-known components of atmospheric particles and their properties can impact atmospheric chemistry and cloud formation. To get information on their hydration states in aqueous solutions and how they are affected by the addition of inorganic salts (sodium chloride (NaCl) and sodium sulfate (Na₂SO₄)), we applied carbon and oxygen K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in transmission mode. The recorded C K-edge spectra show that glyoxal is completely hydrated in the dilute aqueous solutions, in line with previous studies. For methylglyoxal, supported by quantum chemical calculations we identified not only C–H, C=O and C–OH bonds, but also fingerprints of C–OH(CH₂) and C=C bonds. The relatively low intensity of C=O transitions implies that the monohydrated form of methylglyoxal is not favored in the solutions. Instead, the spectral intensity is stronger in regions where products of aldol condensation and enol tautomers of the monohydrates contribute. The addition of salts was found to introduce only very minor changes to absorption energies and relative intensities of the observed absorption features, indicating that XAS in the near-edge region is not very sensitive to these intermolecular organic–inorganic interactions at the studied concentrations. The identified structures of glyoxal and methylglyoxal in an aqueous environment support the uptake of these compounds to the aerosol phase in the presence of water and their contribution to secondary organic aerosol formation.

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Series: Atmospheric chemistry and physics
ISSN: 1680-7316
ISSN-E: 1680-7324
ISSN-L: 1680-7316
Volume: 21
Pages: 2881 - 2894
DOI: 10.5194/acp-21-2881-2021
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (project SURFACE, grant agreement no. 717022). Nønne L. Prisle, Jack J. Lin, Minna Patanen and Marko Huttula gratefully acknowledge funding from the Academy of Finland (grant nos. 308238, 314175, 331532 and 296338). This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (grant agreement no. 713606).
EU Grant Number: (717022) SURFACE - The unexplored world of aerosol surfaces and their impacts.
(713606) I4FUTURE - Novel Imaging and Characterisation Methods in Bio, Medical, and Environmental Research and Technology Innovations
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 308238
Detailed Information: 308238 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
314175 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
331532 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
296338 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: The data of this study have been deposited in the open-access repository Zenodo and can be accessed at (Michailoudi et al., 2020).
Copyright information: © Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.