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[en] Highlights: • OH oxidation of oleic acid is studied at the air-water interface. • OH oxidation of stearic acid is studied at the air-water interface. • OH oxidation mechanisms are proposed for both cases. The ubiquity of oleic acid (OA) renders it a poster child for laboratory investigations of environmental oxidation chemistry. In the current study, mechanistic details of the oxidation of OA by hydroxyl radicals at the air-water interface are investigated using field-induced droplet ionization mass spectrometry (FIDI-MS). Products from OH oxidation of both unsaturated and saturated carbon atoms are identified, and mechanisms for both types of oxidation processes are proposed. Uptake of oxygen in the interfacial layer increases linearly with time, consistent with Langmuir-Hinshelwood reaction kinetics. These results provide fundamental knowledge relating to OH initiated degradation of fatty acids in atmospheric aerosols.