Heterogeneous reaction of N2O5 with airborne TiO2 particles and its implication for stratospheric particle injection

M. J. Tang, P. J. Telford, F. D. Pope, L. Rkiouak, N. L. Abraham, A. T. Archibald, P. Braesicke, J. A. Pyle, J. Mcgregor, I. M. Watson, R. A. Cox, M. Kalberer

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Abstract

Injection of aerosol particles (or their precursors) into the stratosphere to scatter solar radiation back into space has been suggested as a solar-radiation management scheme for the mitigation of global warming. TiO2 has recently been highlighted as a possible candidate particle because of its high refractive index, but its impact on stratospheric chemistry via heterogeneous reactions is as yet unknown. In this work the heterogeneous reaction of airborne sub-micrometre TiO2 particles with N2O5 has been investigated for the first time, at room temperature and different relative humidities (RH), using an atmospheric pressure aerosol flow tube. The uptake coefficient of N2O5 onto TiO2, γ(N2O5), was determined to be ~1.0 × 10−3 at low RH, increasing to ~3 × 10−3 at 60% RH. The uptake of N2O5 onto TiO2 is then included in the UKCA chemistry–climate model to assess the impact of this reaction on stratospheric chemistry. While the impact of TiO2 on the scattering of solar radiation is chosen to be similar to the aerosol from the Mt Pinatubo eruption, the impact of TiO2 injection on stratospheric N2O5 is much smaller.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6035-6048
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2014

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