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Journal article

Role of dust alkalinity in acid mobilization of iron

Ito A, Feng Y...(+2 more)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 10, issue 19 (2010) pp. 9237-9250

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Abstract

Atmospheric processing of mineral aerosols by acid gases (e.g., SO2, HNO3, N2O5, and HCl) may play a key role in the transformation of insoluble iron (Fe in the oxidized or ferric (III) form) to soluble forms (e.g., Fe(II), inorganic soluble species of Fe(III), and organic complexes of iron). On the other hand, mineral dust particles have a potential of neutralizing the acidic species due to the alkaline buffer ability of carbonate minerals (e.g., CaCO3 and MgCO3). Here we demonstrate the impact of dust alkalinity on the acid mobilization of iron in a three-dimensional aerosol chemistry transport model that includes a mineral dissolution scheme. In our model simulations, most of the alkaline dust minerals cannot be entirely consumed by inorganic acids during the transport across the North Pacific Ocean. As a result, the inclusion of alkaline compounds in aqueous chemistry substantially limits the iron dissolution during the long-range transport to the North Pacific Ocean: only a small fraction of iron (

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