Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Vol.117, No.19, 3972-3979, 2013
Synergistic Effects between SO2 and HCOOH on alpha-Fe2O3
Heterogeneous reactions on mineral aerosols remain an important subject in atmospheric chemistry because of their role in altering the properties of particles and the budget of trace gases. Yet, the role of coadsorption of trace gases onto mineral aerosols and potential synergistic effects are largely uncertain, especially synergistic effects between inorganic and organic gas phase pollutants. In this study, synergistic effects between HCOOH and SO2 were investigated for the first time using in situ diffuse-reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS). It was found that the heterogeneous reaction of HCOOH is hindered significantly by coexisting SO2. The total amount of formate decreased, whereas the total amount of sulfate was not affected during coadsorption on the surface of alpha-Fe2O3. Futhermore, part of the formate on the surface was catalytically decomposed to CO2 by alpha-Fe2O3 with the help of SO2. These results suggest a possible mechanism for the observed correlations between sulfate and carboxylate in the atmosphere.