Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Dr. Barker co-authors a top-20 most downloaded paper in Journal of Physical Chemistry

Posted: June 19, 2012

Professor John Barker is a co-author of “Water Effect on the OH + HCl Reaction,” a paper published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry. The paper was one of the top 20 most downloaded papers from the journal in May.

The paper presents the first reported value for the equilibrium constant for the formation of H2O·HCl complex, which is important in understanding the generation of reactive free chlorine atoms in the atmosphere.

Barker states, “What’s important is to convert the inactive chlorine bound up in HCl to an active chlorine atom, which can attack other species like ozone and organics.”

Professor Joseph Francisco of Purdue University is the lead on the paper. The goal was to see if water molecules could act as a catalyst in the OH + HCl reaction, which releases free chlorine atoms. The results show that water significantly accelerates the reaction, but the concentration of H2O·HCl complexes is very low.

To learn more about the paper, click here.

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