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Measurement and simulation of fine particle emissions from combustion systems

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September 26, 2011
Allen L. Robinson
Hosted by Jeff Collett

Abstract

Atmospheric particles play an important role in climate forcing; they are also strongly associated with adverse human health effects. Motor vehicles, wood stoves, and other combustion processes are major sources of atmospheric particles. This talk summarizes recent field, laboratory, and modeling findings on organic particle emissions from combustion systems. The results reveal a dynamic picture in which low-volatility organics evaporate, oxidize, and recondense as they are transported away from the source. This transformation changes the properties of the particles and thus their effects on climate and presumably human health. This new picture also alters our understanding of the contribution of combustion sources to urban and regional pollution and brings chemical transport model predictions into better agreement with field observations. The talk concludes with a brief discussion of research needs in this field.