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Watching particles' jekyll-to-hyde transformation Print
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 00:00

Whether the abundant atmospheric specie malonic acid stays in a stable keto form or twists into a highly active enol form depends on the amount of water it finds in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the University of Iowa and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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An abundant atmospheric species, malonic acid transforms from the stable, nonreactive keto form to the highly reactive enol form at elevated relative humidity. The reactive enol form is 4 to 5 orders of magnitude more abundant in the atmosphere than was expected from aqueous chemistry.