U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Novel Experimental Approach to Study the Kinetics of Sea Salt Particles has Application to Surface Science and Catalysis
Published: January 28, 2008
Posted: February 20, 2008

A recent feature article in The Journal of Physical Chemistry A by Yong Liu and Alexander Laskin, scientists from the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), and collaborating EMSL users Jeremy Cain and Hai Wang from the University of Southern California on the kinetics of micron-sized sea salt particles draws attention to a novel experimental approach that not only has applicability to atmospheric chemistry, but also to surface science and catalysis. In this study, the team designed a reaction chamber with appropriate flow parameters using computational fluid dynamics, exposed sea salt particles to reactive gases under a variety of relative humidity and reaction time conditions, and measured the reaction kinetics using computer-controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (CCSEM/EDX). The study focused on sea salt particles because they are the second largest component, by mass, of the global aerosol burden, and they contribute substantially to atmospheric chemistry, air quality and climate change issues. The study is expected to be of interest to the catalysis and surface science research communities because it provides a new way to investigate the reaction kinetics of micron-sized particles. For EMSL, it demonstrates the power of applying multiple capabilities to obtain fundamental reaction kinetics information. Feature articles are published by the invitation of the journal’s Editor-in-Chief to draw attention to important active research areas in physical chemistry. The team’s work appeared in the October 2007 issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

Contact: Paul Bayer, SC-23.4, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Research Area: DOE Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
  • Research Area: Research Technologies and Methodologies

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.4 Environmental Remediation Sciences Division, OBER)


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)