Scientists from the University of Manchester and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, as well as the Sandia National Laboratory in the United States, have observed theoretical chemicals known as Criegee biradicals for the first time. First hypothesized by Rudolf Criegee in the 1950s, Criegee biradicals are able to oxidize many pollutants and convert them into less hazardous chemical forms. Current atmospheric pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, are oxidized into sulphate and nitrate ions. These ions are prone to forming cloud cover that can significantly reduce the rate of global warming. These atmospheric molecules offer great promise in reducing or possibly eliminating currently intractable atmospheric pollution and even global warming.
Published: 9:34 pm, 22 January 2012