Phenanthrene is a 3-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon which exists mainly in the gas-phase in the atmosphere. Recent concern over the presence of 9,10-phenanthrenequinone in ambient particles led us to study the products of the gas-phase reactions of phenanthrene with hydroxyl radicals, nitrate radicals and ozone. The formation yields of 9,10-phenanthrenequinone were measured to be ∼3%, 33±9%, and ∼2% from the OH radical, NO3radical and O3reactions, respectively. Calculations suggest that daytime OH radical-initiated and nighttime NO3radical-initiated reactions of gas-phase phenanthrene may be significant sources of 9,10-phenanthrenequinone in ambient atmospheres. In contrast, the ozone reaction with phenanthrene is unlikely to contribute significantly to ambient 9,10-phenanthrenequinone. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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