CERNESIM » L3. Laboratory for investigation of atmospheric physico-chemical processes and testing new environmental gaseous pollutants destruction technologies

L3. Laboratory for investigation of atmospheric physico-chemical processes and testing new environmental gaseous pollutants destruction technologies

The main purpose of this laboratory is to establish a link between the emission of pollutants and the quality of the air. This can be done by using a reaction chamber in which the atmospheric conditions specific to the regions in Romania are simulated. This reaction chamber have a volume of approximately 760 L, and for the simulation of the solar radiation are used 32 germinic lamps (λmax=254nm) and 32 black-light lamps (λmax=365nm). The reaction chamber is also equipped with a White multiple reflection mirror system (set up on the pads that seal the ends of the reactor), connected to a spectrometer FT-IR thus allowing the identification “in situ” of the reactants and products. The frontal and terminal flanges of the reactor are equipped with inlets for the reactants and diluted gas, as well as with measuring instruments for temperature, humidity and pressure. For the homogenization of the reaction mixtures, the reaction chamber are equipped with two fans, one on the ring that unites two quartz tubes and one on the frontal flange. In order to evacuate the gas mixture, the reactor is equipped with a pump system that ensures a vacuum of about 10-3 mbar. For the monitoring of other indicators, the reaction chamber can be connected to multiple analytical systems, through special valves, with the following analytical instruments: LIF, GC-FID, GC-MS, HPLC, actinometres for J(O3) and J(NO2), monitors for measuring and counting  O3, NO, NO2, NOx. Additionally, the reaction chamber is equipped with a air- drying and purifying system, especially for the eviction and components of the NOy and non-methane hydrocarbons. All these analytical instruments are controlled and monitored with the aid of an internal computer network. This laboratory is coordinated by the researchers from Faculty of Chemistry and Physics of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi.

The laboratory for physics- and chemistry- studies of the atmosphere has three main work components, as follows:

  • the component the chemistry of the atmosphere, which will investigate the behaviour of specific gas pollutants in atmospheric conditions specific to the North-East region (humidity, temperature, NOx, actinic flux);
  • the component for the usage of ecological technologies of destruction of gas pollutants specific to the North-East region
  • the component of the physics of the atmosphere which will test new instruments with applicability to the industry (new sensors of monitoring gas pollutants)

The main research themes that are in our interest in this laboratory are:

  • the impact of volatile organic compounds (VOCS) on the chemistry of the troposphere
  • air pollution and estimating the impact determined by VOCS on the oxidizing species of the troposphere, the azoth cycle and eventually on the climate
  • studies on the modifications brought by the anthropic factor on the power of oxidation of the atmosphere, the chemical composition of aerosols and their influence on the climate
  • kinetic studies in gas- state
  • studying pollutants by using new investigation methods regionally and nationally and elaborating new ecological technologies to aid with their destruction
  • conducting experiments on the efficiency of destruction through atmospheric pressure discharges of various toxic products (organic volatile compounds NOx, SO2, etc.)
  • the preparation and testing of the characteristics of gas sensors of some semi conductive materials (particularly oxide semi conductors SnO2, Bi2O3, TiO2), metals, alloys and metallic compounds, organics (different classes, compounds with a low molecular mass and polymers), as well as composites in thin layers, by investigating the electrical, optical, photoelectrical, photoluminescence, structural characteristics depending on the concentration of polluting agent
  • obtaining functional structures of sensors of polluting gasses with thin layers (semi conductors, metallic, composites)

The Environmental simulation chamber infrastructure is unique in Romania and Eastern EU region.