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:3/4/2020)... FREDERICK, Md. (PRWEB) , ... March 04, 2020 ... ... stem/stromal cell (hMSC) working cell banks and hMSC bioprocess systems, announces today a ... patient using its innovative cellular starting materials. The patient has been treated by ...
(Date:3/2/2020)... ... 02, 2020 , ... Toronto-based clinical research organization (CRO) and regulatory consulting firm, ... just 5 minutes south of Clarksburg on a farm on Beaver Valley Road. , ... the Rainbow Orchard, and decided it would be a great new option for employees ...
(Date:3/2/2020)... , ... March 02, 2020 , ... ... the 71st annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy ( Pittcon ... Illinois. Pittcon is the world’s leading annual conference and exposition on laboratory science, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2020)... ... March 25, 2020 , ... ... laboratory located centrally in the midwest for high-quality, quick-turn, board-certified reporting. In ... highly motivated, independent, professional team that is focused on incredible quality, turnaround ...
(Date:3/12/2020)... ... March 12, 2020 , ... With ... (AFM) technology, increases the business investment in Europe by inaugurating a new scientific ... Opening Ceremony of the new Nanoscience Center Europe took place Tuesday, February 18, ...
(Date:3/4/2020)... ... 04, 2020 , ... This month, Cognosante will make its annual appearance at ... both expanded and emerging offerings that align with the HIMSS annual theme, “Be the ... comprehensive, timely, and engaging. From Interoperability and HIE to Cloud ...
(Date:2/26/2020)... ... 25, 2020 , ... Continuing its leading research on human ... its safety assessment on the biotechnologically produced 3-Fucolsyllactose (3-FL) HMO. , 3-FL ... carbohydrates are indigestible and therefore function as a prebiotic by promoting early microbial ...
Breaking Biology Technology: