Chemical Processes & Instrument Development

With precision laboratory work, the Chemical Processes & Instrument Development research program targets trace gases, aerosols and atmospheric chemical processes affecting air quality, ozone layer depletion, and climate. Researchers characterize the atmospheric lifetimes and photochemical processing of trace species emitted into or formed in the atmosphere and their impact on ozone production, air quality, and climate. They also develop instrumentation for the detection of key atmospheric species to improve our ability to study these key atmospheric species in the laboratory and field.

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Research Highlight: CH3NCO, methyl isocyanate, is a toxic compound formed in the atmosphere following the use of agricultural and industrial precursors as well as an emission in biomass burning with potential environmental and health impacts. CPID has performed a study of the gas-phase reaction of OH radicals and Cl-atoms with CH3NCO using pulsed laser photolysis–laser induced fluorescence and relative rate methods over a range of temperature for input into air quality forecast models to better define its atmospheric fate. In addition, stable atmospheric degradation products of CH3NCO were measured and formyl isocyanate, HC(O)NCO, another toxin, was identified for the first-time as a major product. Learn More