Development and validation of a new in situ technique to measure total gaseous chlorine in air

Teles Furlani, RenXi Ye, Jordan Stewart, Leigh R. Crilley, Peter Edwards, Tara F. Kahan, Cora Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Total gaseous chlorine (TClg) measurements can improve our understanding of unknown sources of Cl in the atmosphere. Existing techniques for measuring TClg have been limited to offline analysis of extracted filters and do not provide suitable temporal information on fast atmospheric processes. We describe high-time-resolution in situ measurements of TClg by thermolyzing air over a heated platinum (Pt) substrate coupled to a cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS). The method relies on the complete decomposition of TClg to release Cl atoms that react to form HCl, for which detection by CRDS has previously been shown to be fast and reliable. The method was validated using custom organochlorine permeation devices (PDs) that generated gas-phase dichloromethane (DCM), 1-chlorobutane (CB), and 1,3-dichloropropene (DCP). The optimal conversion temperature and residence time through the high-temperature furnace was 825 ∘C and 1.5 s, respectively. Complete conversion was observed for six organochlorine compounds, including alkyl, allyl, and aryl C–Cl bonds, which are amongst the strongest Cl-containing bonds. The quantitative conversion of these strong C–Cl bonds suggests complete conversion of similar or weaker bonds that characterize all other TClg. We applied this technique to both outdoor and indoor environments and found reasonable agreements in ambient background mixing ratios with the sum of expected HCl from known long-lived Cl species. We measured the converted TClg in an indoor environment during cleaning activities and observed varying levels of TClg comparable to previous studies. The method validated here is capable of measuring in situ TClg and has a broad range of potential applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181–193
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2023

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