Dynamic Reactions

07Sep 2021 by
Energy Analysis
Earths atmosphere contains 3 billion metric tons of ozone (O3). Earths stratospheric ozone plays a critical role in shielding us from the high-energy ultraviolet radiation (UV-C and most of UV-B) emitted by the sun. Life on Earth would be much harsher for most living organisms without this protection. Several decades ago, scientists identified a hole in the ozone. It was determined that specific synthetic chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), were degrading our ozone layer. Once in the atmosphere, these CFCs react to release chlorine free radicals, which are very reactive. You can see the current status of the ozone hole at
The natural level of ozone in the stratosphere is maintained through a dynamic equilibrium, referred to as the Chapman Cycle. Ozone forms when sunlight splits molecular oxygen (O2) into two oxygen radicals. Oxygen radicals are very reactive. Among other reactions, they can either join together to reform O2 or one can join O2 to form O3. Ozone can then react with an additional oxygen radical to reform molecular oxygen, or it can react with sunlight to form molecular oxygen and an oxygen radical. Ozone is constantly being created and destroyed through these reactions within the stratosphere. This reaction with sunlight is how we are protected from the harmful UV-B and UV-C!
Step 1: hv + O2 –> 2OStep 2: O2 + O –> O3 Step 3: O3 + O –> 2O2              or              O3 + hv –> O2 + O
However, ozone destroyed by catalyzed decomposition from chlorine radicals (and other chemicals) shifts the natural dynamic equilibrium, resulting in more high-energy light reaching Earths surface.  
Consider: Choose one (1) of the following to respond to with your initial post:

Evaluate the enthalpy diagram for the catalyzed and uncatalyzed decomposition of ozone. Identify eight accurate and significant pieces of information, explained in 13 paragraphs (in your own words).
The rate of formation and destruction of ozone depends upon the intensity of sunlight. Comment on how ozone production varies 1) over a day and 2) over Earths seasons. Specifically, identify and explain the rate equations for the Chapman Cycle.
Using key ideas from kinetics (e.g.catalysts), and equilibrium (e.g. LeChateliers principle), explain why CFC usage has been banned in many countries. Specifically, consider the balance between the Chapman Cycle and CFC destruction of ozone. Specifically state the equilibrium expression that relates to the concentration of ozone and molecular oxygen.

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