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Free Content Chemistry in the clouds: the role of aerosols in atmospheric chemistry

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Ever since the discovery of the ozone hole over the Antarctic and the recognition of the damaging effects of acid rain, the role of atmospheric aerosol particles in determining the chemical balance of the atmosphere has received much attention. Aerosol particles produced in combustion can also have a deleterious effect on human health. In this article we review the chemistry that can occur on aerosol particles, particularly on aqueous based aerosols in the troposphere. The sources, transformation and loss mechanisms of atmospheric aerosol will be discussed. In particular, we will focus on the role of chemical transformation on aerosol particles in promoting reactions that would otherwise be too slow in the homogeneous atmospheric gas phase. Heterogeneous reaction mechanisms of some key chemical reactions will be described. Recent observations of a high organic content of tropospheric aerosol particles will be described and a model of organic coated aerosols will be reviewed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Science Review, PO Box 314, St. Albans, Herts AL1 4ZG, UK

Publication date: 2002-08-15

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  • SCIENCE PROGRESS has for over 100 years been a highly regarded review publication in science, technology and medicine. Its objective is to excite the readers' interest in areas with which they may not be fully familiar but which could facilitate their interest, or even activity, in a cognate field. Science Progress commissions world authorities to contribute articles on the most interesting, important and meaningful topics - ranging from cosmology to the environment - and ensures that they are presented for the most effective use of those in both academia and industry.

    Truly, Science Progress publishes an eclectic mix of articles that no library can afford to be without.

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