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Dr. (guest)

Elena Gomez-Alvarez

Visiting scientist

At Atmospheric Chemistry - Prof. Zetzsch until 07/2012

One of the research activities of the Instrumentation Reactivité Atmosphérique (IRA) research group at the Laboratoire Chimie Environnemnt (LCE), Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France, is to study surface reactions within indoor and outdoor environments that lead to nitrous acid (HONO) formation. Consequently, the main objective of the proposed work was to study HONO formation processes in the presence of soot particles from candle smoke under typical indoor environmental conditions. Special scientific equipment is required for sensitive, continuous and direct detection of HONO. The chamber facility and technical expertise to perform such chamber work does not exist at the Aix-Marseille University. The Low Temperature Aerosol Simulation Chamber (LOTASC) facility at the University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany, is specifically designed to study particle/aerosol formation and heterogeneous chemistry under given experimental conditions of indoor and outdoor environments. The chamber experiments can be carried out in the temperature range from 298 K to 248 K at atmospheric pressure. Furthermore, relative humidity can be varied from 2 to 80% in order to simulatemimicking different environmental conditions. Additionally, the LOTASC Teflon chamber has recently been equipped with a Long Path Absorption Photometer (LOPAP) developed by Jörg. Kleffmann of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (BUW), Germany. Since we were interested in studying HONO formation from various heterogeneous (surface) reactions, the availability of the LOPAP technique gave us a unique opportunity to detect HONO formation directly and continuously. This is important since (a) HONO is photolyzeds readily to act as a source of OH radicals and (b) HONO is an important household pollutant that is known to react with amines to form nitrosamines, a class of carcinogenic compounds (1). In addition, the surface reactions of HONO with adsorbed nicotine lead to the formation of the so-called third-hand tobacco smoke (2).

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last modified 2014-05-26