Journal article

Study of the kinetics and equilibria of the oligomerization reactions of 2-methylglyceric acid

Birdsall A, Zentner C, Elrod M ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 6 (2013) pp. 3097-3109

  • 16


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 12


    Citations of this article.
Sign in to save reference


The presence of a variety of chemical species related to the gaseous precursor isoprene in ambient secondary organic aerosol (SOA) has stimulated investigations of the nature of SOA-phase chemical processing. Recent work has demonstrated that 2-methylglyceric acid (2-MG) is an important isoprene-derived ambient SOA component and atmospheric chamber experiments have suggested that 2-MG may exist in oligomeric form (as oligoesters) under conditions of low SOA water content. In order to better understand the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of such oligomerization reactions, nuclear magnetic resonance techniques were used to study the bulk phase acid-catalyzed aqueous reactions (Fischer esterification) of 2-MG. While the present results indicate that 2-MG oligoesters are formed in the bulk phase with similar water content equilibrium dependences as observed in atmospheric chamber SOA experiments, the acid-catalyzed rate of the Fischer esterification mechanism may be too slow to rationalize the 2-MG oligoester production timescales observed in the atmospheric chamber experiments. Furthermore, it appears that unrealistically high ambient SOA acidities would also be required for significant 2-MG oligoester content to arise via Fischer esterification. Therefore, the present results suggest that other, more kinetically facile, esterification mechanisms may be necessary to rationalize the existence of 2-MG oligomers in atmospheric chamber-generated and ambient SOA.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • A. W. Birdsall

  • C. A. Zentner

  • M. J. Elrod

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free