An exploration of aqueous oxalic acid production in the coastal marine atmosphere
Crahan, Kathleen K.
Covert, David S.
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Oxalic acid is the most abundant dicarboxylic acid found in the troposphere, yet there is still no scientific consensus concerning its origins or formation process. Recent studies have suggested mechanisms for its formation in cloud water from gaseous precursors. Comparison of the characteristics of oxalic acidandnss sulfate, a chemical with a known incloud formation pathway, provides some support for an aqueous formation mechanism for oxalic acid. Analysis of the filters collected from the CIRPAS Twin Otter aircraft during CARMA I, a field campaign designed to study the marine stratocumulus off the coast of Monterey, CA, by a five stage Micro-Orifice Impactor (MOI) revealeda peak in the concentration distribution at a diameter of 0.26–0.44 mm, similar to the size distribution found for nss sulfate and corresponding to the droplet mode in the aerosol size distribution. An air-equivalent average of 2.0370.47 mgm 3 (standard error) of sulfate was observed in the collected marine cloud water, in excess to below-cloud concentrations by 1.16 mgm 3 on average. This suggests in-cloudprod uction similar in concentration to previous field campaigns in coastal marine atmospheres. Oxalate was observedin the clouds at air-equivalent concentrations of 0.2170.04 mgm 3, in excess to below-cloudconcentrations by 0.14 mgm 3 andsuggesting an in-cloudprod uction as well. The tentative identification in cloud water of one of the intermediate species in the aqueous oxalate production mechanism lends further support to an in-cloudoxalate source.
Atmospheric Environment, 38, 3757-3764.
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