Detecting secondary aerosols
EUREKA project E! 2507 EUROENVIRON COPAP has developed a new detection device that will aid research into global climate change, environmental studies, life-science research and environmental monitoring and improve understanding on aerosols.
“It is now recognised that aerosols play a central role in a range of environmental problems such as respiratory diseases, climate change and decreased visibility,” says Dr Vidmantas Ulevicius, Head of the Environmental Physics and Chemistry Laboratory at the Lithuanian Institute of Physics, the project’s lead partner.
The problem arises because the majority of the mass in fine aerosol particles is not directly emitted but formed through numerous reactions with other gasses in the atmosphere. These reactions are extremely difficult to define as many reactions are short lived and others produce minute particles in the atmosphere. It is these secondary aerosol particles that create environmental problems; these can now be detected thanks to the research in this project.
The sources of each of the major chemical constituents of the aerosols must be known and their role in atmospheric processes must be determined, in order to regulate and reduce their detrimental effects. “In this sense, aerosol science is now at the same level as the measurement of most gaseous pollutants was over a decade ago,” says Ulevicius.
To help increase knowledge and thereby develop efficient abatement strategies, the EUROENVIRON COPAP project designed a new particle counter able to measure the concentration of these small aerosol particles. It can measure particles as small as 5 nm in diameter, in concentrations between 0.01 and 105 particles/cm3.
The new device will provide reliable aerosol data, the lack of which has until now hindered the understanding of the formation of secondary aerosols and evaluation of ways to regulate and prevent environmental damage.
Professor Markku Kulmala, who leads the Physics Department at the University of Helsinki, co ordinated the Finnish academic and commercial partners and supervised the theoretical, calibration and field studies. He says: “EUREKA was crucial. Without it, this work would not have been possible.”
Ulevicius agrees: “EUREKA not only helped in the development of the new instrument but also forged co operation between scientists and commercial companies in Lithuania and Finland.”
The project is set to increase the turnover of the commercial partners - Eltera Ltd in Lithuania and Dekati Ltd in Finland - both of which will manufacture and market some 50 instruments per year.
Julie Sors | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...