Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

E.4 E.9 Ozone Depletion The Ozone layer of the atmosphere is a key part of earth's life-supporting systems.

The oxygen and ozone(O2 and O3, respectively) it contains forms a protective layer for organisms on earth, shielding the harmful UV radiation. The resonance structures are needed by the O3, though experimental techniques showed that the molecule is made up from two identical bonds. The bonds in O3 is weaker than those in O2. The bonds of oxygen and ozone would break when absorbed UV of enough energy. Because oxygen's bond is stronger it requires shorter wavelength. The relationship between the energy of a photon of electromagnetic wave and its frequency is expressed in the following formula: E = hf (h is planck's constant) f can be replaced with c/ (where c is the speed of light) so the formula can also be: E = h c/ The natural formation of depletion of ozone The altitude of atmosphere of relatively high temperature is where ozone layer is located and UV is absorbed. In the stratosphere, the double bond in O2 is broken by high-energy UV radiation with a wavelength shorter than 242 nm to form two Oxygen atoms. These atoms are free radicals, and are very reactive. They react with other O2 molecules to form O3. This reaction is exothermic and increases the temperature in the stratosphere. O3 would also absorb UV radiation and become O2 and an oxygen atom. The atom would then react with an O3 molecule to form two O2 molecules. This is another exothermic reaction. When the rate of formation of ozone is balanced the rate of removal, the level of ozone will stay constant (less than 10ppm), which is known as the steady state. Depletion of ozone by anthropogenic sources Measurements have shown that the level of ozone in the ozone layer has been decreasing, particularly over the north and south poles. Pollutants such as nitrogen monoxide and chlorouorocarbon (CFC) act as catalysts in the decomposition from O3 to O2. For nitrogen monoxide: NO (g) + O3 (g) --> NO2 (g) + O2 (g) NO2 (g) + O (g) --> NO (g) + O2 (g)

For CFC: Chlorine atoms are released by the CFC: CCl2F2 (g) --> CClF2 (g) + Cl (g) The Chlorine will react with ozone to form oxygen, and will then be recycled Cl (g) + O3 (g) --> O2 (g) + ClO (g) ClO (g) + O (g) --> O2 (g) + Cl (g) One Cl atoms can destroy thousands of ozone molecules and is regenerated constantly. Environmental impact of ozone depletion The ozone layer protects the earth's surface from high-energy UV radiation which could alter DNA and cause skin cancer and eye problems such as cataracts and blindness. UV can also damage plant cells, hinder photosynthesis and plant growth, and make plants susceptible to diseases. UV also kills planktons in oceans, reducing oxygen levels in the water and destroying marine ecosystems. Alternatives to CFCs for the future CFCs were widely used until the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Although it is no longer used, it will remain in the atmosphere for the following century. Chemists have come up with possible replacements that are less reactive and do not release free radicals when exposed to UV. The main problem with CFCs is mainly the C-Cl bond, so possible candidates strive to replace those bonds: - Hydrocarbons such as propane, C3H8 and methylpropane (CH3CH(CH3)CH3). C-Cl are replaced with stronger C-H bonds. These are, however, ammable. - Fluorocarbons are not ammable and are very strong, which makes them ideal. - Hydrochlorouorocarbons (HCFCs) contain hydrogen. Although they also contain C-Cl bonds, most of it is destroyed before reaching stratosphere, making it 20 times less destructive. - Hydrouorocarbons (HFCs) contain no Cl and is not ammable. It's perhaps the best alternative. Ozone depletion is greater in polar regions The polar areas suffer from more severe ozone depletions. It's due to the ice clouds formed during their winters in their stratospheres. The ice particles act as a catalyst and provide surfaces for pollutants to combine. They also contain small amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) and chlorine nitrate (ClONO2), which react to form chlorine: HCl + ClONO2 --> HNO3 + Cl2 Cl2 --> Cl + Cl The chlorine produces an ozone 'hole' in the poles. By then end of winters, the process halts and eventually the hole would be xed. South pole suffers a more severe depletion than north pole because its winter is colder.