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Issue 44, 2013
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Heterogeneous and multiphase formation pathways of gypsum in the atmosphere

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Abstract

Gypsum is a major sulphur-containing component of atmospheric particulate matter. To date, however, its formation pathways in the atmosphere are still not well known. In this study, several potentially important formation pathways of gypsum in atmospheric aerosols are proposed. We found that gypsum was formed in the humidifying–dehumidifying process of mixed sulphate and calcium salts. A deliquescent layer is crucial for the formation of gypsum from Ca2+ and SO42− ions. In particular, the presence of hygroscopic components, such as (NH4)2SO4 and Ca(NO3)2, is necessary for the conversion of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) upon heterogeneous reaction of either SO2 + O3 or SO2 + NO2 as well as anhydrous calcium sulphate (CaSO4) to form gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) under ambient conditions. This study provides definitive evidence that synergistic effects in the physical and chemical processing of aerosol particles have a significant effect on their final chemical composition, mixing state and hygroscopic behaviour which dictates the environmental and climate impacts of the resulting aerosol.

Graphical abstract: Heterogeneous and multiphase formation pathways of gypsum in the atmosphere

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Aug 2013, accepted on 13 Sep 2013 and first published on 16 Sep 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP53424C
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 19196-19204
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    Heterogeneous and multiphase formation pathways of gypsum in the atmosphere

    Q. Ma, H. He, Y. Liu, C. Liu and V. H. Grassian, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 19196
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP53424C

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