Terpenes are produced abundantly by environmental processes but are found in very low concentrations in natural waters. Aqueous photolysis of solutions containing α-pinene, a representative terpene, in the presence of humic acid resulted in degradation of the pinene. Comparison of this reaction to photolysis of α-pinene in the presence of methylene blue leads to the conclusion that the reactive pathway for the abiotic degradation of α-pinene is due to reaction with singlet oxygen produced by irradiation of the humic material. The initial product of single oxygen and α-pinene is a hydroperoxide. Since humic materials are prevalent in most natural waters, this mechanism of photodecomposition for α-pinene probably also applies to other terpenes in surface waters and may be reasonably considered to contribute to their low environmental concentration.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||The aqueous photolysis of α-pinene in solution with humic acid|
|Series title||Journal of Contaminant Hydrology|
|Contributing office(s)||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|