Atmospheric organic aerosols play a major role in climate, demanding a better understanding of their formation mechanisms by contributing multiphase chemical reactions with the participation of water. The sunlight driven aqueous photochemistry of small 2-oxocarboxylic acids is a potential major source of organic aerosol, which prompted the investigations into the mechanisms of glyoxylic acid and pyruvic acid photochemistry reviewed here. While 2-oxocarboxylic acids can be contained or directly created in the particles, the majorities of these abundant and available molecules are in the gas phase and must first undergo the surface uptake process to react in, and on the surface, of aqueous particles. Thus, the work also reviews the acid-base reaction that occurs when gaseous pyruvic acid meets the interface of aqueous microdroplets, which is contrasted with the same process for acetic acid. This work classifies relevant information needed to understand the photochemistry of aqueous pyruvic acid and glyoxylic acid and motivates future studies based on reports that use novel strategies and methodologies to advance this field.

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Published in Molecules, v. 26, issue 17, 5278.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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USA National Science Foundation for research funding under awards 1903744 and 1255290. The APC was funded by MDPI Molecules.

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