Department of Environmental Sciences
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Seminar Abstracts
Environmental Sciences Seminar Abstract            

  Properties of organic material in aqueous atmospheric aerosols
Faye McNeill
Columbia University, Chemical Engineering

Atmospheric aerosol particles ranging in size from ~2 nm to 20 µm impact Earth's radiation balance, and therefore its climate, both directly by absorbing or scattering solar radiation and indirectly via cloud formation. Internal mixtures of inorganic and organic material are common in tropospheric aerosols, with organic matter typically comprising 10 to 90% of fine aerosol mass. Organic aerosol material (OA) can affect the heterogeneous reactivity of aerosol particles, their ability to act as cloud condensation nuclei, and their radiative properties.

In the first part of my talk I will present results from my previous work on the effects of surface-active organic species on the heterogeneous chemistry of aqueous aerosols. The second part of my talk will focus on recent observations by my group of the formation of high-molecular-weight, light-absorbing secondary organic aerosol material in mildly acidic aqueous mixtures of glyoxal and inorganic salts meant to mimic the composition of aqueous aerosols.


Last updated: 09/08/2008