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Tracking VOCs and their Lifecycles in the Atmosphere with Modern Spectroscopic Technologies

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Tracking VOCs and their Lifecycles in the Atmosphere with Modern Spectroscopic Technologies

Poor air quality has significant effects on health, agriculture, and economic growth and is controlled by the emission rates and chemistry of compounds released into the atmosphere. The atmospheric removal of hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds, which are emitted by biogenic and anthropogenic processes, occurs by oxidation chemistry, resulting in complex cascades of reactions that potentially lead to the production of secondary pollutants. In our recent research, we have been investigating the atmospheric chemistry of reactive intermediates produced in the oxidation of unsaturated hydrocarbons emitted by plants and during vehicle use in order to improve our understanding of these processes on atmospheric composition and air quality. We use a technique known as laser flash photolysis to generate these elusive intermediates and conduct laboratory studies of key reactions relevant to atmospheric chemistry using various spectroscopic methods, with a specific focus on:

  • reactions with pollutants including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide
  • production of formaldehyde from reactions with a number of atmospherically relevant species
  • production of reactive intermediates from reactions of unsaturated hydrocarbons with ozone

Key Learning Objectives

  • Role of reactive intermediates in atmospheric chemistry and composition.
  • Laboratory studies of atmospherically relevant reactive intermediates.
  • Development of experimental spectroscopic techniques.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 17:00 H (CET)

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