The reactions between atmospheric oxidants and organic amphiphiles at the air water interface of an aerosol droplet may affect the size and critical supersaturation required for cloud droplet formation. We demonstrate that no reaction occurs between gaseous nitrogen dioxide (1000 ppm in air) and a monolayer of an insoluble amphiphile, oleic acid (cis-9-octadecenoic acid), at the air water interface which removes material from the air water interface. We present evidence that the NO2 isomerises the cis-9-octadecenoic (oleic) acid to trans-9-octadecenoic (elaidic) acid. The study presented here is important for future and previous studies of (1) the reaction between the nitrate radical, NO3, and thin organic films as NO2 is usually present in high concentrations in these experimental systems and (2) the effect of NO2 air pollution on the unsaturated fatty acids and lipids found at the air liquid surface of human lung lining fluid
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