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Effect of airborne particle on SO2-calcite reaction

Boke, H
Göktürk, Emine Hale
Caner-Saltik, EN
Demirci, S
In modern urban atmosphere, sulphur dioxide (SO2) attacks calcite (CaCO3) in calcareous stone-producing gypsum (CaSO4 . 2H(2)O) which forms crust at rain sheltered surfaces and accelerates erosion at areas exposed to rain. The airborne particles collected on stone surfaces have always been considered to enhance the gypsum crust formation and thus it is believed that they should be removed from the surface to decrease the effects of SO2. In this study, our aim was to investigate this event by carrying out a series of experiments in laboratory using pure calcium carbonate powder to represent calcareous stone. Sodium montmorillonite, activated carbon, ferric oxide, vanadium pentoxide and cupric chloride were mixed in the pure calcium carbonate powder as substitutes of the airborne particles in the polluted atmosphere. The samples have been exposed at nearly 10 ppmv SO2 concentrations at 90% relative humidity conditions in a reaction chamber for several days. The mineralogical composition of the exposed samples were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and infrared spectrometer (IR). Sulphation reaction products, calcium sulphite hemihydrate, gypsum and unreacted calcite, were determined quantitatively using IR. Exposed samples have also been investigated morphologically using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Experimental results reveal that calcium sulphite hemihydrate is the main reaction product of the SO2-calcite reaction. It turns out that airborne particles play an important catalytic role in the oxidation of calcium sulphite hemihydrate into gypsum, although their presence does not very significantly affect the extent of sulphation reaction. This behaviour of airborne particles is explained by the presence of liquid film on the calcium carbonate surface when a series of reactions in the gas-liquid-solid interfaces takes place.