Quantifying trace gas uptake to tropospheric aerosol: recent advances and remaining challenges

Chem Soc Rev. 2012 Oct 7;41(19):6555-81. doi: 10.1039/c2cs35052a. Epub 2012 Jun 1.


The interactions of trace gases with tropospheric aerosol can have significant effects on both gas phase and aerosol composition. In turn, this may affect the atmospheric oxidizing capacity, aerosol hygroscopicity and optical properties, and the lifetimes of trace aerosol species. Through the detailed description of specific reaction systems, this review article illustrates how detailed experimental studies of gas-particle interactions lead to both a comprehensive understanding of the underlying physical chemistry as well as accurate parameterizations for atmospheric modeling. The reaction systems studied illustrate the complexity in the field: (i) N(2)O(5) uptake, presented as a benchmark multiphase system, can lead to both NO(x) loss and halogen activation, (ii) loss of HO(2) on aqueous particles is surprisingly poorly studied given its potential importance for HO(x) loss, (iii) uptake of HNO(3) by marine aerosol and heterogeneous oxidation of organic-bearing particles are examples of how gas-particle interactions can lead to substantial alteration of aerosol composition, and (iv) the uptake of glyoxal to ammonium sulfate aerosol leads to highly complex particle-phase chemistry. In addition, for the first time, this article presents the challenges that must be addressed in the design and interpretation of atmospheric gas-to-particle uptake experiments.