Understanding Relevant Emissions and Atmospheric Formation Processes for Toxic Air Pollutants

Photo credit: Diliff, via Wikipedia Commons

Reducing air pollution is vital for the protection of public health. Short-term effects of polluted air include, interfering with being able to breathe deeply during exercising and impairing visibility from haze. Long-term effects for individuals may be a lifetime burden of reduced lung function because they don’t fully develop due to pollution exposure during childhood. Air pollution has also been linked to premature death from heath attacks.

Robert Harley, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkley, spoke about a model use to understand the emissions and atmospheric formation processes for formaldehyde pollutants at the SOCAAR Seminar on March 28th. Continue reading

Organic chemistry associated with Oil Sands Production: From gas phase acidity to secondary organic aerosol formation

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The Athabasca deposit in Alberta is the largest oil sand in the world and is a powerful source of Canadian energy. Over the last decade a lot attention has been paid to the environmental impacts of oil sands production. Primary emissions associated with oil sands activities have been the focus of past research but less is known about the reaction products of these emissions to the atmosphere. In the SOCCAR Seminar held on September 14, Dr. Liggio, a research scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Air Quality Research Division, presented his research on the formation of organic acidity and secondary organic aerosol from oil sands activities. Continue reading