Formation of phenol and carbonyls from the atmospheric reaction of OH radicals with benzene
The gas-phase reaction of OH radicals with benzene has been studied in a flow tube operated at 295 ± 2 K and 950 mbar of synthetic air or O2. Ozonolysis of tetramethylethylene (dark reaction) with a measured OH radical yield of 0.92 ± 0.08 or photolysis of methyl nitrite in the presence of NO served as the OH sources. For investigations in the presence of NOx, the conditions were chosen so that more than 95% of the OH/benzene adduct reacted with O2 even for the highest NO2 concentration occurring in the experiment. In the absence of NOx, a phenol yield from the reaction of OH radicals with benzene of 0.61 ± 0.07 was measured by means of long-path FT-IR and UV spectroscopy over a wide range of experimental conditions. This yield was confirmed by measurements performed in the presence of NOx. Detected carbonyls were glyoxal, cis-butenedial and trans-butenedial with formation yields of 0.29 ± 0.10, 0.08 ± 0.03 and 0.023 ± 0.007, respectively, measured in synthetic air and in the presence of NOx. There was no significant difference in the product yields applying both experimental approaches for OH generation (dark reaction or photolysis). Nitrobenzene and o-nitrophenol were detected in traces. The yield of nitrobenzene increased with increasing NOx resulting in a maximum formation yield of 0.007. The detected products in the presence of NOx account for ∼78% of the reacted carbon. Butenedial yields from benzene degradation are reported for the first time. In the absence of NOx, glyoxal, cis-butenedial and trans-butenedial were also detected, but with distinctly lower yields compared to the experiments with NOx.