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Laboratory Study for Gaseous Mercury Uptake by Atmospheric Water
  • Satoshi Irei
Satoshi Irei
National Institute for Minamata Disease

Corresponding Author:satoshi.irei@gmail.com

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Mercury is a notorious pollutant causing severe nerve diseases. This metal has a semi-volatile nature under the STP condition, therefore, it is emitted to atmosphere as gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) from variety of sources, such as the ocean surface, volcanoes, and fossil fuel combustion. Because of the long atmospheric life time, mercury is transported for long distance and spreads globally, consequently ubiquitous in the natural environment. The current global model for mercury cycle assumes that oxidation is a predominant pathway for the removal of GEM from the atmosphere. To the best of our knowledge, however, none of heterogeneous uptake of GEM by atmospheric water, such as cloud, fog, and rain droplets, has been evaluated to date. For more accurate understanding of the mercury cycle, the evaluation of this process is necessary. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate GEM uptake by artificial atmospheric water. The experiments were carried out using a 3 L glass cell. 500 mL of acidified water was transferred into the cell, and approximately 50 to 10 ng m-3 of GEM gas mixture was continuously flowed into and out of the open space above the solution in the cell. After a definite time the solution was quantitatively analyzed for mercury to investigate the uptake. At this presentation preliminary results of the uptake experiments will be presented.