Navigation Links
Gases drawn into smog particles stay there, UCI-led study reveals
Date:2/21/2012

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 21, 2012 Airborne gases get sucked into stubborn smog particles from which they cannot escape, according to findings by UC Irvine and other researchers published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The results could explain a problem identified in recent years: Computer models long used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California air regulators and others significantly underestimate organic aerosols the major component of smog particles. Such pollution blocks views of mountains and has been linked to everything from asthma to heart attacks. It is also the largest unknown in climate change calculations.

"You can't have a lot of confidence in the predicted levels right now," said lead author Veronique Perraud, assistant project scientist to pioneering UCI air chemist Barbara Finlayson-Pitts. "It's extremely important, because if the models do a bad job of predicting particles, we may be underestimating the effects on the public."

An independent expert who reviewed the research for PNAS agreed.

"The conclusions are highly significant," said Purdue University atmospheric chemist Paul Shepson. "This paper should and, I expect, will have a big impact. We've known for nearly a decade that there's a huge difference between what's in the models and what's actually in the air. Thanks to this paper, we have a much better idea of why."

Scientists at UCI, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory and Portland State University combined pinene, a common ingredient in household cleaners such as Pine Sol and outdoor emissions, with oxides of nitrogen and ozone to mimic smog buildup.

Models used by regulators for decades have assumed that organic aerosols in such pollution form liquid droplets that quickly dissolve potentially unhealthy gases. But the new work found that once gases are sucked into a particle, they get buried deeper and deeper.

"They check in, and they don't check out. They cannot escape. The material does not readily evaporate and may live longer and grow faster in total mass than previously thought," Finlayson-Pitts said. "This is consistent with related studies showing that smog particles may be an extremely viscous tar."

Perraud noted that broader study needs to be done: "The next logical step is to straighten the models out. We need enough follow-up data to do so."

Sophisticated tools made it easier to pinpoint the exact characteristics of chemical compounds in air. The scientists used a 26-foot-long "aerosol flow tube" at the AirUCI unit and a one-of-a-kind, 900-pound instrument known as SPLAT (a single particle laser ablation time-of-flight mass spectrometer) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Wilson
janethw@uci.edu
949-824-3969
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. AgriLife Research adds new instrumentation to measure greenhouse gases
2. DTU is participating in a European network on measurement of greenhouse gases
3. First global portrait of greenhouse gases emerges from pole-to-pole flights
4. Greenhouse gases from forest soils
5. Can biochar help suppress greenhouse gases?
6. MU scientists find new farming method to reduce greenhouse gases, increase farm yields
7. Rising greenhouse gases profoundly impact microscopic marine life
8. New study about Arctic sea-ice, greenhouse gases and polar bear habitat
9. Chemistry for greenhouse gases
10. Charcoal biofilter cleans up fertilizer waste gases
11. ARPA-E funding supports research on carbon dioxide removal from flue gases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape ... Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... market and the continuing migration crisis in the ... has led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is ... & security companies in the border security market and ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 --> ... Transparency Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global ... 2023," the global digital door lock systems market in terms ... and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% ... and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ... airing of a new series of commercials on Time Warner ... st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, Fox ... Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... announces the airing of a new series of commercials on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... StarNet ... solutions today announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship ... remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... is excited to announce the launch of the Proove Health Foundation . ... and education to promote the use of personalized medicine for tackling the nation’s ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... the necessary fundamentals to transform technology into a viable company, CereScan’s CEO, John ... Mr. Kelley, a recognized leader and mentor in the Denver area business ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , April 29, 2016 Elekta ... latest update to its industry-leading treatment planning software, is ... Monaco version 5.11 provides significant ... attain calculation speeds up to four times faster than ... With the industry,s gold standard Monte Carlo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: