Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of sunlight-driven organic chemistry on water surfaces

12.08.2016

Fatty acids found on the surface of water droplets react with sunlight to form organic molecules, a new study reports, essentially uncovering a previously unknown form of photolysis. The results could affect models that account for aerosol particles, including models related to climate.

Conventional wisdom holds that carboxylic acids and saturated fatty acids, which are abundant throughout the environment, only react with hydroxyl radicals and are not affected by sunlight.


Light on the air-sea interface. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the 12 August 2016, issue of Science, published by AAAS. The paper, by S. Rossignol at Université Lyon in Villeurbanne, France, and colleagues was titled, "Atmospheric photochemistry at a fatty acid-coated air-water interface."

Credit: Christian George, CNRS-IRCELYON

However, these previous conclusions are based on observations of the molecules in a gas phase, or dissolved in solution. Here, Stéphanie Rossignol and colleagues studied nonanoic acid (NA) during a liquid-gas phase, as the molecules interact with surface water.

When the researchers studied NA along the surface of a liquid while it was exposed to UV light, they observed the formation of organic compounds.

They conducted a series of experiments to adjust for possible contamination, concluding that NA is indeed responsible for the observed photochemistry resulting in these compounds.

Based on the type of photochemistry observed, the authors say that similar reactions may be common to all carboxylic acid molecules.

Considering how common fatty acids are in the environment, such photochemical processing on aerosols or other aqueous sites could have a significant impact on local ozone and particle formation, the authors say.

In a related Perspective, Veronica Vaida notes that these previously unappreciated secondary organic products "will affect secondary organic aerosol mass, composition, and optical properties, in turn defining the particle's overall effect on climate, air quality, and health."

Media Contact

Science Press Package
scipak@aaas.org
202-326-6440

 @AAAS

http://www.aaas.org 

Science Press Package | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>