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Photomineralisation rate of organic compounds adsorbed on particulate matter


ATTEMPTS to correlate the concentration of chemicals in the environment with their production figures have resulted in a large deficit, especially for organic chemicals such as DDT1. It has been assumed that analytical errors accounted for this deficit. Another explanation, however, considers the reactions of compounds in abiotic conditions. As far as atmospheric chemistry is concerned, such an explanation needs a thorough knowledge of the kinetics and mechanisms of all possible reactions of a compound, including its products and also consideration of the meteorological conditions. Only then would it be possible to describe the time dependence of concentrations of organic compounds in the atmosphere with any accuracy. To consider all the data required is time-consuming and expensive, because of the rather complicated mechanisms of conversion and decomposition. We have therefore devised simple, standardised tests.

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GÄB, S., SCHMITZER, J., THAMM, H. et al. Photomineralisation rate of organic compounds adsorbed on particulate matter. Nature 270, 331–333 (1977).

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