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J Phys Chem A. 2006 Feb 9;110(5):1982-90.

Hydrogen transfer between sulfuric acid and hydroxyl radical in the gas phase: competition among hydrogen atom transfer, proton-coupled electron-transfer, and double proton transfer.

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  • 1Institut d'Investigacions Químiques i Ambientals de Barcelona, CSIC, Jordi Girona 18, 08034-Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. jarqtc@cid.csic.es


In an attempt to assess the potential role of the hydroxyl radical in the atmospheric degradation of sulfuric acid, the hydrogen transfer between H2SO4 and HO* in the gas phase has been investigated by means of DFT and quantum-mechanical electronic-structure calculations, as well as classical transition state theory computations. The first step of the H2SO4 + HO* reaction is the barrierless formation of a prereactive hydrogen-bonded complex (Cr1) lying 8.1 kcal mol(-1) below the sum of the (298 K) enthalpies of the reactants. After forming Cr1, a single hydrogen transfer from H2SO4 to HO* and a degenerate double hydrogen-exchange between H2SO4 and HO* may occur. The single hydrogen transfer, yielding HSO4* and H2O, can take place through three different transition structures, the two lowest energy ones (TS1 and TS2) corresponding to a proton-coupled electron-transfer mechanism, whereas the higher energy one (TS3) is associated with a hydrogen atom transfer mechanism. The double hydrogen-exchange, affording products identical to reactants, takes place through a transition structure (TS4) involving a double proton-transfer mechanism and is predicted to be the dominant pathway. A rate constant of 1.50 x 10(-14) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1) at 298 K is obtained for the overall reaction H2SO4 + HO*. The single hydrogen transfer through TS1, TS2, and TS3 contributes to the overall rate constant at 298 K with a 43.4%. It is concluded that the single hydrogen transfer from H2SO4 to HO* yielding HSO4* and H2O might well be a significant sink for gaseous sulfuric acid in the atmosphere.

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