Potential photochemical pathways and intermediates during the oxidative degradation of hydrocarbons in the remote troposphere
Atmospheric reactions of hydrocarbons are responsible for both the formation and the destruction of tropospheric ozone and other oxidants such as hydroxyl and hydroperoxy radicals. Nitrogen oxides were found to play a key role in these reaction chains. - The oxidative degradation of hydrocarbons is a very complex process which produces a great variety of oxygenated intermediates. Many of these intermediates play themselves an important role in tropospheric chemistry. Their chemical nature, volatility, and solubility in water determine the distribution of the intermediates between vapor, particulate, and atmospheric liquid water phase. The volatility of polyfunctional oxygenates is orders of magnitude lower than that of their monofunctional analogs. Therefore, hydrocarbons yielding di- or polyfunctional intermediates during oxidative degradation in the troposphere, may give rise to significant aerosol formation.