Determination of the Physical and Chemical Properties of Aged Mineral Dust Particles

EPA Grant Number: F5B10222
Title: Determination of the Physical and Chemical Properties of Aged Mineral Dust Particles
Investigators: Denkenberger, Kerri A.
Institution: University of California - San Diego
EPA Project Officer: Zambrana, Jose
Project Period: September 1, 2005 through August 31, 2006
Project Amount: $103,392
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships


The purpose of this research is to gain an understanding of the physical and chemical properties of aged mineral dust particles through a combination of laboratory and field studies, using aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ATOFMS). As noted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the 2001, a greater scientific understanding of mineral dust aerosol is necessary because the climate and human health effects of these particles and the trace gas species depend on the heterogeneous chemistry of mineral dust in the atmosphere.


ATOFMS allows the concurrent determination of the size and chemical composition of individual particles in real-time. This technique was developed by the Prather laboratory, now at the University of California, San Diego, and has been used in several field studies of ambient air, as well as laboratory and source apportionment studies. By examining the data from previous field studies, fresh and aged mineral dust particles will be isolated and analyzed; differences in fine and coarse particles will also be noted. In addition, ambient data will be collected and analyzed at the field campaign Study of Organic Aerosols in Riverside (SOAR) 2005. Subsequently, laboratory studies using flow tubes and ATOFMS will be used to simulate the aging mineral dust in the atmosphere to yield a greater understanding of these particles effects on climate change and human health. Furthermore, the results of these studies will be compared with health effects exposure studies to gain a complete understanding of the roles of unreacted and reacted mineral dust.

Expected Results:

Correlations between field studies, as well as between laboratory and field studies, will be made in an attempt to understand the atmospheric aging of mineral dust particles. In addition, it is expected that the heterogeneous chemistry of mineral dust particles will vary depending on particle mineralogy. By gaining a greater understanding of the aging of these particles in the atmosphere, the climate and health effects of mineral dust aerosol may be established.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, mineral dust, particles, aerosol, climate, human health, atmosphere, real-time, chemical composition, ambient air. , Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Monitoring, particulate matter, tropospheric ozone, aerosol sampling, aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ATOFMS), air pollution, air sampling, ambient aerosol, ambient aerosol particles, ambient measurement methods, atmospheric transport, chemical characteristics, chemical composition, chemical speciation sampling, particle size, particle transport,, RFA, Air, particulate matter, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Atmosphere, ambient air quality, environmental monitoring, particulates, chemical characteristics, human health effects, aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ATOFMS), ambient measurement methods, ozone, National Ambient Air Quality Standard, mineral dust particles, modeling studies

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final