Chemical reactions in Atmosphere
Chemical reactions in the atmosphere have the opposite effect on substances, causing an atom to become more oxidized over time in the atmosphere. Atoms that enter the atmosphere as gases in a reduced state are oxidized, in a stepwise fashion, to form ionic substances that are washed out of the atmosphere in rainfall. One example of this transformation would be where the sulfur atom in hydrogen sulfide (H2S, oxidation number of -2) is washed out as a sulfate molecule (SO42-, oxidation number of +6). Understanding these transformations is one of the primary objectives for this section of the course.
The composition of the troposphere consists of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases. There are smaller amounts of water vapor, argon, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, methane and additional trace gases. This region of the atmosphere is where all life processes occur, and this region of the atmosphere is the one most affected by anthropogenic pollution. The reactions that take place in the troposphere may be acid base reaction or photochemical reactions, and substances in the troposphere usually have a shorter lifetime than in other atmospheric regions. The ultimate fate of chemical reactions in the troposphere is to be washed out through precipitation events.