Aqueous photochemistry of 2-oxocarboxylic acids: Evidence, mechanisms, and atmospheric impact

Marcelo I. Guzman, Alexis J. Eugene

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Atmospheric organic aerosols play a major role in climate, demanding a better understanding of their formation mechanisms by contributing multiphase chemical reactions with the participation of water. The sunlight driven aqueous photochemistry of small 2-oxocarboxylic acids is a potential major source of organic aerosol, which prompted the investigations into the mechanisms of glyoxylic acid and pyruvic acid photochemistry reviewed here. While 2-oxocarboxylic acids can be contained or directly created in the particles, the majorities of these abundant and available molecules are in the gas phase and must first undergo the surface uptake process to react in, and on the surface, of aqueous particles. Thus, the work also reviews the acid-base reaction that occurs when gaseous pyruvic acid meets the interface of aqueous microdroplets, which is contrasted with the same process for acetic acid. This work classifies relevant information needed to understand the photochemistry of aqueous pyruvic acid and glyoxylic acid and motivates future studies based on reports that use novel strategies and methodologies to advance this field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5278
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Air-wa-ter interface
  • Cloud
  • Cross-photoreaction
  • Dissolved O2
  • Fog
  • Glyoxylic acid
  • Photolysis
  • Pyruvic acid
  • Quantum yield
  • SOA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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