Abstract: Study on chemical compositions and sources of organic aerosols in urban areas

Aerosols are small liquid droplets or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere. They can be formed naturally in the atmosphere or produced from human activities. Several examples of these anthropogenic aerosols are haze, smoke, and particulate air pollutants. Such pollutants, as a major part of urban air pollution, can lead to approximately 3 million premature deaths worldwide per year. Understanding the sources and compositions of these aerosol particles can be crucial for epidemiological studies and risk assessment on long-term human-exposure to urban air pollution. In this project, I will be investigating organic aerosols from locations around the world to study 1) the major chemical compositions of urban organic aerosols, 2) the molecular composition/structure for some organic aerosol components of interest (e.g. organic nitrogen species), and 3) possible sources of these aerosols. Several analytical techniques will be involved in this project, such as aerosol mass spectromety (AMS) and ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry (UHR-MS). This will be the first look at organic aerosols with these techniques in many of the cities. The obtained data and results will hopefully become a valuable resource for further research on atmospheric aerosols in these regions, and can be applied in health effects research through the understanding of the health-damaging effects of the particulate matter in urban air.124801351_origScreen-Shot-2015-05-08-at-14.56.37