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Simply Mechanisms 13b. Role of radicals in ozone formation and depletion in the stratosphere

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Published on Jun 8, 2016

Mindmap available here: http://franklychemistry.co.uk/simply_...
This video looks at the roles of radicals in both the formation of ozone (O3) in the stratosphere. UV radiation causes some oxygen molecules to split into oxygen radicals (essentially atoms that have not 1, but 2 unpaired electrons). These oxygen radicals react with oxygen molecules to form ozone (O3) and this helps to protect us against a number of adverse effects of UV-B radiation, including skin cancer. Some chemicals, most notably CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), produce other radicals that react with ozone and break it down. Chlorine radicals, formed from CFCs are especially destructive as when formed, they serve as catalyst for ozone depletion. First the chlorine radicals break ozone down into oxygen and a ClO radical. This ClO radical then also breaks down ozone molecules, producing 2 molecules of oxygen and regenerating a Cl radical as well. The polar vortex at the South Pole traps ozone depleted air in the spring and then later releases it to nearby countries (e.g. New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Chile).

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