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Natural Formation of Chloro- and Bromoacetone in Salt Lakes of Western Australia

Institute of Earth Sciences, Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Institute of Sustainable and Environmental Chemistry, University of Lüneburg, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Bayreuth, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, RSMAS, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33149, USA
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany
Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Centre, 215022 Geesthacht, Germany
Environmental Chemistry and Air Research, Technical University Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research, University of Bayreuth, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 663;
Received: 24 September 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 26 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs))
Western Australia is a semi-/arid region known for saline lakes with a wide range of geochemical parameters (pH 2.5–7.1, Cl 10–200 g L−1). This study reports on the haloacetones chloro- and bromoacetone in air over 6 salt lake shorelines. Significant emissions of chloroacetone (up to 0.2 µmol m−2 h−1) and bromoacetone (up to 1. 5 µmol m−2 h−1) were detected, and a photochemical box model was employed to evaluate the contribution of their atmospheric formation from the olefinic hydrocarbons propene and methacrolein in the gas phase. The measured concentrations could not explain the photochemical halogenation reaction, indicating a strong hitherto unknown source of haloacetones. Aqueous-phase reactions of haloacetones, investigated in the laboratory using humic acid in concentrated salt solutions, were identified as alternative formation pathway by liquid-phase reactions, acid catalyzed enolization of ketones, and subsequent halogenation. In order to verify this mechanism, we made measurements of the Henry’s law constants, rate constants for hydrolysis and nucleophilic exchange with chloride, UV-spectra and quantum yields for the photolysis of bromoacetone and 1,1-dibromoacetone in the aqueous phase. We suggest that heterogeneous processes induced by humic substances in the quasi-liquid layer of the salt crust, particle surfaces and the lake water are the predominating pathways for the formation of the observed haloacetones. View Full-Text
Keywords: chloroacetone (1-chloropropan-2-one); bromoacetone (1-bromopropan-2-one); salt lakes; natural halogenation chloroacetone (1-chloropropan-2-one); bromoacetone (1-bromopropan-2-one); salt lakes; natural halogenation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sattler, T.; Sörgel, M.; Wittmer, J.; Bourtsoukidis, E.; Krause, T.; Atlas, E.; Benk, S.; Bleicher, S.; Kamilli, K.; Ofner, J.; Kopetzky, R.; Held, A.; Palm, W.-U.; Williams, J.; Zetzsch, C.; Schöler, H.-F. Natural Formation of Chloro- and Bromoacetone in Salt Lakes of Western Australia. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 663.

AMA Style

Sattler T, Sörgel M, Wittmer J, Bourtsoukidis E, Krause T, Atlas E, Benk S, Bleicher S, Kamilli K, Ofner J, Kopetzky R, Held A, Palm W-U, Williams J, Zetzsch C, Schöler H-F. Natural Formation of Chloro- and Bromoacetone in Salt Lakes of Western Australia. Atmosphere. 2019; 10(11):663.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sattler, Tobias, Matthias Sörgel, Julian Wittmer, Efstratios Bourtsoukidis, Torsten Krause, Elliot Atlas, Simon Benk, Sergej Bleicher, Katharina Kamilli, Johannes Ofner, Raimo Kopetzky, Andreas Held, Wolf-Ulrich Palm, Jonathan Williams, Cornelius Zetzsch, and Heinz-Friedrich Schöler. 2019. "Natural Formation of Chloro- and Bromoacetone in Salt Lakes of Western Australia" Atmosphere 10, no. 11: 663.

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