Research

The atmosphere is a dynamic system involving a large number of chemical species and their chemical reactions. Our research goal is to better understand the chemical composition, sources and transformations and impacts on health.

SOURCES | TECHNIQUES | MECHANISMS | HEALTH

SOURCES of organic aerosol in urban atmospheres

We conduct field measurements of organic compounds in urban Toronto to identify their sources and chemical properties. In the summer of 2015, we conducted a 6-week field measurement campaign in the roof of our Wallberg Building, using a novel filter sampling setup (known as the Integrated Organic Gas And Particle Sampler, IOGAPS). In the near future, we are developing an in-situ measurement system so that more frequent samples can be collected and analyzed.

 

Analytical TECHNIQUES for complex organic mixtures

Using state of the art analytical techniques for identifying organic compounds, we developed methodologies to identify individual compounds within complex mixtures. In the past, we have used gas chromatography with soft ionization mass spectrometry to speciate alkane isomers in diesel fuel. We have also constructed 2 scanning mobility particle sizers for particle size distribution measurements.

 

MECHANISMS of secondary organic aerosol formation

In our group, we study reaction mechanisms through controlled laboratory experiments. We have constructed a flow tube reactor equipped with UV lamps to simulate atmospheric oxidation. Our current project investigates the mixing between SOA and other organic compounds, and aims to develop a simple framework for atmospheric models to predict mixing and partitioning.

 

HEALTH impacts of organic aerosol

Using chemical information, we study the health impacts of organic aerosol. We collaborate with the Faculty of Medicine to study the sub-chronic effects of pollutants on pulmonary health. Ongoing work focuses on multi-pollutant exposures and synergies between different pollutants.