Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 171–189

The Atmospheric Chemistry of Glycolaldehyde

  • Camilla Bacher
  • Geoffrey S. Tyndall
  • John J. Orlando
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010689706869

Cite this article as:
Bacher, C., Tyndall, G.S. & Orlando, J.J. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry (2001) 39: 171. doi:10.1023/A:1010689706869

Abstract

The chemistry of glycolaldehyde (hydroxyacetaldehyde) relevant to the troposphere has been investigated using UV absorption spectrometry and FTIR absorption spectrometry in an environmental chamber. Quantitative UV absorption spectra have been obtained for the first time. The UV spectrum peaks at 277 nm with a maximum cross section of (5.5± 0.7)×10−20 cm2 molecule−1. Studies of the ultraviolet photolysis of glycolaldehyde (λ = 285 ± 25 nm) indicated that the overall quantum yield is > 0.5 in one bar of air, with the major products being CH2OH and HCO radicals. Rate coefficients for the reactions of Cl atoms and OH radicals with glycolaldehyde have been determined to be (7.6± 1.5)×10−11 and (1.1± 0.3)×10−11 cm3 molecule−1 s−1, respectively, in good agreement with the only previous study. The lifetime of glycolaldehyde in the atmosphere is about 1.0 day for reaction with OH, and > 2.5 days for photolysis, although both wet and dry deposition should also be considered in future modeling studies.

carbonyl2-hydroxyethanalhydroxyl radicalphotolysisreaction kinetics

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Camilla Bacher
    • 1
  • Geoffrey S. Tyndall
    • 1
  • John J. Orlando
    • 1
  1. 1.Atmospheric Chemistry DivisionNational Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderU.S.A