Disulfate Ion as an Intermediate to Sulfuric Acid in Acid Rain Formation

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Science  14 Aug 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4816, pp. 756-758
DOI: 10.1126/science.237.4816.756


The oxidation of the bisulfite ion by dissolved oxygen to produce sulfate ion involves the formation of a previously undetected intermediate. This intermediate has a fairly strong Raman band at 1090 wave numbers and a weak Raman band at 740 wave numbers, both of which are probably due to sulfur-oxygen stretches. The intermediate is proposed to be the disulfate ion S2O72-, which hydrolyzes into H+ and either SO42- or HSO42- with a half-life of about 52 seconds at 25°C.