ATECís Role in Atmospheric Chemistry Research
ATEC is very proud to provide ongoing support for Atmospheric Chemistry Research at Caltech. A major portion of this funding has gone toward the development and operation of Caltechís atmospheric chemistry flow reactor. The flow reactor tube, located in Dr. John Seinfeldís laboratory, is a state-of -the art device coupled with sophisticated instrumentation that is ideally suited to study the oxidation of volatile organic compounds to produce toxic compounds, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, acrolein, benzaldehyde, tolualdehyde, methacrolein, and methyl vinyl ketone. These compounds are generated in the atmospheric oxidation of precursor gases like isoprene and toluene. The reactor enables scientists and engineers to study how the rate of generation of such compounds depends on atmospheric conditions. In addition, the reactor is used to study the conversion of low volatility gas-phase oxidation products to the particle phase, since ingestion of airborne particles is a common route for human exposure to harmful substances.