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Saturated fatty acids and carboxylic acids are richly available all through the environment. Earlier it was believed that these react with hydroxyl radicals, and remain unaffected by sunlight.  These conclusions were on the on basis of the observations of these molecules in a dissolved solution or gaseous phase.

A new study was made by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in this regard. They studied nonanoic acid (NA) in a liquid-gas phase, as the molecules interacted with surface water.

During exposure to UV light, there formation of organic compounds was observed. Possible contaminations were ruled out through experiments. Finally, it was concluded that NA accounted for the photochemistry which resulted in these compounds.

The researchers believe that such reactions may be observed with all carboxylic acid molecules. Taking into account the abundance of fatty acids in the environment, such photochemical reactions on aerosols or aqueous sites could have significant effect on particle formation and local ozone, the researchers say.

This secondary organic aerosol composition, mass and optical properties will in turn affect their overall effect on air quality, climate and health. So, the models related to climate will be modified by these results. 


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