Graydon Snider, Parisa Ariya
Mercury is a persistent bio-cumulative toxic substance that can be found in the human body. Because of the ability for mercury to easily volatilize, anthropogenic emissions of mercury can have affects which spread across the globe. Mercury is unique among other toxic heavy metals (e.g. Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn) in that its atmospheric residence exists in its elemental state Hg(0). Mercury depletion events (MDEs) are the oxidation reactions that scavenge Hg(0) and return the element to the aqueous environment and (eventually) lead to bioaccumulation in complex organisms.
I am interested in measuring the gaseous kinetics of such mercury oxidation reactions. Our focus will be to generate theoretical kinetic mechanisms both to support our experimental data and to study possible applications from the emerging field of heterogeneous catalysis. Presently I am looking at the effects on the kinetics of water vapour added to mercury and ozone.