Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award

Winter 12-1-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Chair and Committee

Brent Williams


Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in global atmospheric chemistry and climate and have a detrimental impact on human health. Advancements in measurement technologies allow for better monitoring of atmospheric composition and dynamics, creating better predictive models and understanding of atmospheric chemistry and physics. Gas and particle atmospheric oxidation is poorly understood. In order to create a better understanding of atmospheric oxidation, the following equipment was developed: 1) a Potential Aerosol Mass: PAM) flow reaction chamber was developed to create reproducible steady-state oxidation of organic species in a controlled laboratory setting, 2) a custom combustion chamber for introduction of realistic single source samples, and 3) a Thermal desorption Aerosol Gas chromatograph: TAG) for hourly speciation of hundreds of semi-volatile and non-volatile organic compounds. Development and construction of the Combustion Chamber, PAM Chamber, and TAG system are discussed as well as preliminary applications of this equipment. These instruments allow for the study of primary organic aerosol: POA) and secondary organic aerosol: SOA) formation. Due to the lack of knowledge concerning organic aerosol source chemical profiles and subsequent chemical evolution in the atmosphere, these studies are crucial for furthering the understanding of atmospheric chemistry and in developing accurate atmospheric models.


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