Formation of Molecular Chlorine from the Photolysis of Ozone and Aqueous Sea-Salt Particles

Science  02 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5347, pp. 74-76
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5347.74

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Halogen atoms from the reactions of sea-salt particles may play a significant role in the marine boundary layer. Reactions of sodium chloride, the major component of sea-salt particles, with nitrogen oxides generate chlorine atom precursors. However, recent studies suggest there is an additional source of chlorine in the marine troposphere. This study shows that molecular chlorine is generated from the photolysis of ozone in the presence of sea-salt particles above their deliquescence point; this process may also occur in the ocean surface layer. Given the global distribution of ozone, this process may provide a global source of chlorine.

  • * Present address: Department of Chemistry and Biology, Lyon College, Post Office Box 2317, 2300 Highland Road, Batesville, AR 72503–2317, USA.

  • Present address: Institut für Atmosphärische Chemie, Forschungszentrum KFA, 52425 Jüelich, Germany.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: bjfinlay{at}

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