Student Research Projects

An Experimental Investigation of Reactive Gaseous Mercury Adsorption to NaCl

Student Scott Tetzner
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Earth and Environmental Sciences
Course EES 489: Research in the Natural Sciences


The motivation of this study was to better understand how sea salt aerosols affect mercury, and with 80 percent of the world’s total population living in coastal regions this could have major health affects. During the experiment the objective was to quantify the adsorption of reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) to sodium chloride. This was done by using annular denuders covered in both sodium chloride and potassium chloride; the potassium chloride was used to justify the amount of RGM adsorbed to the denuders. The denuders where then analyzed using a cold vapor fluorescence spectrometer analyzer. With the results it is then possible to make an assumption to whether the RGM adsorbed to the sodium chloride and affects the mercury cycle in coastal environments.