N2O5 Oxidizes Chloride to Cl2 in Acidic Atmospheric Aerosol

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Science  22 Aug 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5892, pp. 1059
DOI: 10.1126/science.1158777

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Molecular chlorine (Cl2) is an important yet poorly understood trace constituent of the lower atmosphere. Although a number of mechanisms have been proposed for the conversion of particle-bound chloride (Cl) to gas-phase Cl2, the detailed processes involved remain uncertain. Here, we show that reaction of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) with aerosol-phase chloride yields Cl2 at low pH (<2) and should constitute an important halogen activation pathway in the atmosphere.

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