Feasibility Study for the Atmospheric Measurement of Potential Aerosol Mass (PAM)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Potential aerosol mass can be defined as the maximum aerosol mass that precursor gases can be oxidized to form; it can be measured by rapidly converting all possible precursor gases to forms that condense or are semi-volatile. Its measurement could be a companion to the aerosol mass measurements that are routine in air quality networks in the United States and other countries.

This project is a proof-of-concept study to determine if potential aerosol mass measurements are possible, and to develop an operational definition and procedures that are consistent with those for aerosol mass. This has the potential to offer an inexpensive indicator of the presence of aerosol precursor gases in monitoring networks, and in developing countries where measurements of speciated aerosol precursor gases are not feasible on a routine basis. Such measurements in a monitoring network are also potentially important for determining regulatory policy and for monitoring progress that should result from regulatory actions.

The research contains an inherent teaching component since it will be conducted in a university environment, and will involve graduate students. One graduate student will be involved as part of the Summer Experience in Earth and Mineral Sciences Program which supports students from under-represented socio-economic groups. The work also involves collaboration with research groups at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Albany.

Effective start/end date9/1/0512/31/07


  • National Science Foundation: $175,845.00


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