Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

CLaSP Special Seminar - Dr. Brian McDonald

Date: April 4, 2018
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Location: SRB 2424

Our guest for this week's CLaSP Special Seminar will be Dr. Brian McDonald of the University of Colorado Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Please join us! 

Title: "Chemical Product Emissions Emerging as Important Urban Source of Volatile Organic Compounds"

Abstract: Over multiple decades volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the transportation sector have decreased by over an order of magnitude. As transportation emissions decline, other sources of urban VOCs are growing in relative importance. This talk focuses on emissions from the everyday use of volatile chemical products (VCPs), including personal care products, cleaning agents, inks, coatings, adhesives, and pesticides.  In the Los Angeles basin, VCPs now account for around half of the petrochemical VOCs emitted. This potentially has important air quality implications for secondary species formed in the atmosphere, including ground-level ozone and secondary organic aerosols (SOA). Since many chemical products are used in residential and commercial buildings, emissions also affect indoor air quality. In this seminar, I will first discuss results from a study we recently published in Science on emissions of VOCs from VCPs, and their subsequent impacts on urban air quality in the Los Angeles basin. Second, I will discuss chemical tracers that can be used to detect the presence of VCPs in the ambient atmosphere, including the utility of decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5-siloxane). D5-siloxane is a common ingredient in personal care products. Lastly, I will discuss terpene compounds emitted from VCPs. Terpenes are common fragrances, and also found in cleaning agents and other consumer products. Here I will explore whether an anthropogenic signal can be detected in the urban environment, and distinguishable from biogenic sources.

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