Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists Discover Ozone-boosting Reaction: Newfound Chemistry Should Be Added To Atmospheric Models, Experts Say

Date:
August 9, 2009
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Burning of fossil fuels pumps chemicals into the air that react on surfaces such as buildings and roads to create photochemical smog-forming chlorine atoms, scientists report in a new study. The newfound chemistry should be added to atmospheric models, researchers say.

Burning of fossil fuels pumps chemicals into the air that react on surfaces such as buildings and roads to create photochemical smog-forming chlorine atoms, scientists report. Under extreme circumstances, this previously unknown chemistry could account for up to 40 parts per billion of ozone -- nearly half of California's legal limit on outdoor air pollution.
Credit: iStockphoto/Patrick Herrera

Burning of fossil fuels pumps chemicals into the air that react on surfaces such as buildings and roads to create photochemical smog-forming chlorine atoms, UC Irvine scientists report in a new study.

Related Articles


Under extreme circumstances, this previously unknown chemistry could account for up to 40 parts per billion of ozone – nearly half of California's legal limit on outdoor air pollution. This reaction is not included in computer models used to predict air pollution levels and the effectiveness of ozone control strategies that can cost billions of dollars.

Ozone can cause coughing, throat irritation, chest pain and shortness of breath. Exposure to it has been linked to asthma, bronchitis, cardiopulmonary problems and premature death.

"Realistically, this phenomenon probably accounts for much less than 40 parts per billion, but our results show it could be significant. We should be monitoring it and incorporating it into atmospheric models," said Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and lead author of the study. "We still don't really understand important elements of the atmosphere's chemistry."

When fossil fuels burn, compounds called nitrogen oxides are generated. Previously, scientists believed these would be eliminated from the atmosphere upon contact with surfaces.

But UCI scientists discovered that when nitrogen oxides combine with hydrochloric acid from airborne sea salt on buildings, roads and other particles in the air, highly reactive chlorine atoms are created that speed up smog formation.

Hydrochloric acid also is found indoors in cleaning products. When it interacts with nitrogen oxides from appliances such as gas stoves, chlorine compounds form that cause unusual chemistry and contribute to corrosion indoors.

The study was undertaken by scientists involved with AirUCI, an Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute funded by the National Science Foundation. UCI's Jonathan Raff conducted experiments; Bosiljka Njegic and Benny Gerber made theoretical predictions; and Wayne Chang and Donald Dabdub did the modeling. Mark Gordon of Iowa State University also helped with theory.

Said Finlayson-Pitts: "This is a great example of how our unique collaborative group can produce some really great science."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Chemists Discover Ozone-boosting Reaction: Newfound Chemistry Should Be Added To Atmospheric Models, Experts Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720190728.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2009, August 9). Chemists Discover Ozone-boosting Reaction: Newfound Chemistry Should Be Added To Atmospheric Models, Experts Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720190728.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Chemists Discover Ozone-boosting Reaction: Newfound Chemistry Should Be Added To Atmospheric Models, Experts Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720190728.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nations Pledge $9.3 Bn for Green Climate Fund

Nations Pledge $9.3 Bn for Green Climate Fund

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) — Nations meeting in Berlin pledge $9.3 billion (7.4 bn euros) for a climate fund to help poor countries cut emissions and prepare for global warming, just shy of a $10bn target. Duration: 00:46 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's The Point Of Climate Conferences?

What's The Point Of Climate Conferences?

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — There's optimism about the U.N.'s climate conference in Paris next year, and if climate conferences past are anything to go off, that's notable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Buzz60 (Nov. 20, 2014) — Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer teamed up with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and others to investigate a predatory glow worm found in the Amazon. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
N.Y. Snowfall Renews Climate Change Discussion

N.Y. Snowfall Renews Climate Change Discussion

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — Record snowfalls in New York are helping to reinforce new climate catchphrases. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins