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Determination of the Specific Surface Area of Snow Using Ozonation of 1,1-Diphenylethylene

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journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2011, 00:00 by Debajyoti Ray, Romana Kurková, Ivana Hovorková, Petr Klán
We measured the kinetics of ozonation reaction of 1,1-diphenylethylene (DPE) in artificial snow, produced by shock freezing of DPE aqueous solutions sprayed into liquid nitrogen. It was demonstrated that most of the reactant molecules are in direct (productive) contact with gaseous ozone, thus the technique produces snow with organic molecules largely ejected to the surface of snow grains. The kinetic data were used to evaluate the snow specific surface area (∼70 cm2 g–1). This number is a measure of the availability of the molecules on the surface for chemical reaction with gaseous species. The experimental results were consistent with the Langmuir–Hinshelwood type reaction mechanism. DPE represents environmentally relevant compounds such as alkenes which can react with atmospheric ozone, and are relatively abundant in natural snow. For typical atmospheric ozone concentrations in polar areas (20 ppbv), we estimated that half-life of DPE on the surface of snow grains is ∼5 days at submonolayer coverages and −15 °C.