Re­search team iden­ti­fies pos­si­ble acid rain trig­ger

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A re­search team at Academia Sinica, Tai­wan’s lead­ing aca­demic re­search in­sti­tu­tion, has iden­ti­fied ac­tive mol­e­cules that may be crit­i­cal to the for­ma­tion of aerosols and acid rain.

The team found that the ac­tive mol­e­cules in the at­mos­phere, called Criegee in­ter­me­di­ates, re­act with the pol­lu­tant sul­fur diox­ide (SO2) in the at­mos­phere at a fast speed in a process of ox­i­da­tion.

The process pro­duces sul­fur ozone and sub­se­quently sul­fu­ric acid, an im­por­tant con­stituent of aerosols and acid rain, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by Academia Sinica on Fri­day.

The find­ing sug­gested that the mol­e­cules play a greater role in at­mo­spheric chem­istry than pre­vi­ously be­lieved, the state­ment said.

Headed by Jim J. Lin, a re­search fel­low at the In­sti­tute of Atomic and Molec­u­lar Sciences of Academia Sinica, the team stud­ied the re­ac­tions of dimethyl sub­sti­tuted Criegee in­ter­me­di­ate with wa­ter va­por and with SO2.

It found that when the dimethyl sub­sti­tuted Criegee in­ter­me­di­ate re­acted with wa­ter, the re­ac­tion was not fast enough to con­sume the Criegee in­ter­me­di­ate, but its re­ac­tion with SO2 was swift.

The ob­ser­va­tion sug­gests that the sub­sti­tuted Criegee in­ter­me­di­ate could sur­vive un­der hu­mid con­di­tions long enough to re­act with SO2.

That was a clear de­par­ture from pre­vi­ous stud­ies in which a sim­ple form of the in­ter­me­di­ate re­acted with wa­ter so quickly that it could not sur­vive long enough to re­act with SO2, the Academia Sinica state­ment said.

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