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Aerosols in Upper Atmosphere


Investigation of Photochemical Processes in the Upper Atmosphere Involving Natural and Anthropogenic Aerosols

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-RAD/Photo and Radiation Chemistry/Chemistry

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Zykov S A

Leading Institute
Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow


  • Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, Germany, Mainz\nUniversity College London / Department of Physics and Astronomy, UK, London\nUniversity of Oslo / Department of Geophysics, Norway, Oslo

Project summary

This Projects assumes a study of chemical and photochemical processes on the surfaces of aerosol particles in the upper atmosphere. These heterogeneous processes are expected to play an important role in the chemistry of the atmospheric trace gases Special emphasize will be given to the reactions of ozone with other trace constituents to get some additional information on the nature of the ozone holes.

No doubts that specific catalytic activity of small particles is closely related to their anomaluous electro dynamic response: two reacting molecules on the particle surface interact much stronger than those in the free atmosphere. This fact means an explicit aerosol concentration and particle material dependence of the chemical transformation rate. All these effects will be studied in the course of the Project.

The main objectives of the Project are formulated as follows:

i. To investigate the changes in the rate of photochemical reactions in the presence of artificially created aerosols of given concentration. We assume to perform experiments with metallic, metal oxide and carbon aerosol particles whose sizes stretch from nanometers to shares of microns. The reactions under study will be oxidation of NOх, SOх and destruction of ozone in the presence of fluor containing hydrocarbons.

ii. The study of tune evolution of microphysical characteristics of the aerosol clouds reacting with the trace gas constituents: transport of the aerosol particles, evolution of their size and composition spectra and the changes in their chemical and photochemical activity stipulated by these kinetic processes.

iii. The theoretical and experimental analysis of the nature of the photogeterogeneous processes on the particle surface. The theoretical analysis assumes calculation of their electrodynamic responses of small particles and the elucidation of the role of the electrodynamic characteristics on the chemical transition rates. The quantitative mesurements of the reaction rates will allow checking the theoretical considerations.

iv. The changes in the gaseous composition of the upper atmosphere due to heterogeneous photochemical processes and modification of existing models of atmospheric chemical and photochemical cycles. This point assumes elaboration of mathematical models of the aerosol transport accompanied with the chemical transformastions and computer analysis of the model predictions.

The new quantitative information on the chemical and photochemical aerosol processes will shed a new light on the nature of the atmospheric chemical cycles and allow one to approach to the solution of the modern atmospheric ecological problems from the quantiatative positions based on the most perfect mathematical models of the gas-aerosol processes with carefully measured constants of elementary chemical and photochemical acts.

The feasibility of the Project is provided by:

i. the scientific collective who has long year experience in working on the aerosol and gaseous chemistry problems,

ii. the scientific equipment that includes the aerosol generators, diagnostic tools for measuring the particle size spectra and the rates of gasochemical processes

Assumedforeign participants (collaborators) of this Project are:

1. Dr. T. Peter (Max-plank Institute, Germany), presented as collaborator by directors Max-Plank Institute, Drs H.Wenke and P.Crutzen.

2. Dr. O.B.Toon (NASA, USA), presented as the collaborator by leading scientist R&D Ass. dr. R.Turko.

Final results of the Project will be presented to the collaborators for comparison with the data already obtained priviously and for writing cooperative papers.


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