Heterogeneous oxidation by ozone of naphthalene adsorbed at the air-water interface of micron-size water droplets

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The mass transfer of naphthalene vapor to water droplets in air was studied in the presence of ozone (O3) in the gas phase. A falling droplet reactor with water droplets of diameters 55, 91, and 182 microm was used for the study. O3 reacted with naphthalene at the air-water interface, thereby decreasing the mass transfer resistance and increasing the rate of uptake of naphthalene into the droplet. A Langmuir-Hinshelwood reaction mechanism at the air-water interface satisfactorily described the surface reaction. The first-order surface reaction rate constant, ks, increased with decreasing droplet size. Three organic intermediates were identified in the aqueous phase as a result of ozonation of naphthalene at the surface of the droplet indicating both peroxidic and nonperoxidic routes for ozonation. The presence of an organic carbon surrogate (fulvic acid) increased both the partition constant of naphthalene and the surface reaction rate of O3. The heterogeneous oxidation of naphthalene by O3 on the droplet was 15 times faster than the homogeneous oxidation by O3 in the bulk air phase, whereas it was only 0.08 times the homogeneous gas-phase oxidation by hydroxyl radicals under atmospheric conditions.

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Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995)

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