Oxidation processes in combustion engines and in the atmosphere take the same routes

Alkanes, an important component of fuels for combustion engines and an important class of urban trace gases, react via another reaction pathways than previously thought. These hydrocarbons, formerly called paraffins, thus produce large amounts of highly oxygenated compounds that can contribute to organic aerosol and thus to air pollution in cities. The results of this interdisciplinary work provide crucial information about oxidation processes both in combustion engines and in the atmosphere.