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Leading air pollution experts awarded prestigious 2012 Tyler Environmental Prize
Date:3/19/2012

tropical forests.

"Professors Smith and Seinfeld are giants in the efforts to understand and reduce the devastating impacts of air pollution," said Tyler Prize Executive Committee Chair Owen T. Lind, Professor of Biology at Baylor University. "Their respective research has dramatically advanced our understanding of the ways in which air pollution threatens our health as individuals and the health of the planet."

This year each Tyler Prize laureate will receive a $100,000 cash prize and a gold medal. The Prize honors exceptional foresight and dedication in the environmental sciences qualities that mirror the prescience of the Prize's founders, John and Alice Tyler, who established it while the environmental debate was still in its infancy.

John Seinfeld
Louis E. Nohl Professor and Professor of Chemical Engineering

Chemical Reactions Leave Microscopic, Oily Droplets in the Air We Breathe

Originally trained in chemical engineering, Seinfeld was quickly captivated by the chemistry of air pollution after moving to Los Angeles in the late 1960s. "It became very clear to me that the atmosphere is really just a big chemical reactor and that was fascinating, so I changed my research direction to try to understand this reactor within which we live," recalled Seinfeld.

Seinfeld's research on the complicated interactions between pollutants, and the new molecules they produce, helped to launch an entirely new field of research on organic aerosols that continues to expand today.

His research started with a large transparent Teflon bag on the top of his laboratory and today includes a new "smog chamber" and the use of airplanes to study this chemistry. Seinfeld points to new tools for studying these complicated chemical reactions as the driving force behind our constantly increasing understanding of this science.

"It's like peeling an onion. With ea
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Contact: Nick Seaver
nseaver@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5727
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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