Structural Characterization of Lactone-Containing MW 212 Organosulfates Originating from Isoprene Oxidation in Ambient Fine Aerosol.Environ Sci Technol. 2020 02 04; 54(3):1415-1424.ES
Isoprene (C5H8) is the main non-methane hydrocarbon emitted into the global atmosphere. Despite intense research, atmospheric transformations of isoprene leading to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) are still not fully understood, including its multiphase chemical reactions. Herein, we report on the detailed structural characterization of atmospherically relevant isoprene-derived organosulfates (OSs) with a molecular weight (MW) of 212 (C5H8SO7), which are abundantly present in both ambient fine aerosol (PM2.5) and laboratory-generated isoprene SOA. The results obtained from smog chamber-generated isoprene SOA and aqueous-phase laboratory experiments coupled to the S(IV)-autooxidation chemistry of isoprene, 3-methyl-2(5H)-furanone, and 4-methyl-2(5H)-furanone, allowed us for the first time to fully elucidate the isomeric structures of the MW 212 OSs. By applying liquid chromatography interfaced to electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry, we firmly confirmed six positional isomers of the MW 212 OSs in PM2.5 collected from different sites in Europe and the United States. Our results also show that despite the low solubility of isoprene in water, aqueous-phase or multiphase chemistry can play an important role in the formation of OSs from isoprene. Possible formation mechanisms for the MW 212 OSs are also tentatively proposed.