Carbon Monoxide and Nitric Oxide Consumption in Polluted Air: The Carbon Monoxide-Hydroperoxyl Reaction

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Science  21 Jul 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4045, pp. 255-256
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4045.255


A recent laboratory measurement of the ratio of the rate constant for the reaction CO + HO 2 → C02 + OH relative to that for H + HO2 → 2OH indicates that the former reaction is probably faster than CO + OH → CO2 + H. On this basis a simple analysis is given showing that the calculated lifetime of nitric oxide in polluted atmospheres would be appreciably longer than that estimated on the assumption that the carbon monoxide-hydroperoxyl reaction may be neglected. A fast carbon monoxide-hydroperoxyl reaction implies that the cyclic consumption of carbon monoxide (an atmospheric sink) could occur even with no nitric oxide present.