The study of the degradation of primary atmospheric pollutants under conditions of the terrestrial troposphere (region of the atmosphere closest to the surface) is necessary to evaluate their lifetime in the atmosphere and the formation secondary pollutants, such as gaseous reaction products and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). These pollutants have a biogenic or an anthropogenic origin due to human’s activity, mainly industrial Some of these pollutants are greenhouse gases (GHGs) responsible of the global warming of the planet. Therefore, it is necessary to search for substitutes, for example in the industrial applications, whose environmental impact is as low as possible. To evaluate this impact on the atmosphere, the reactivity of atmospheric pollutants and, particularly, GHG replacements with main tropospheric oxidants (OH radical, ozone and Cl atoms) has to be known prior their widespread. Moreover, the radiative properties of these pollutants after absorption of solar radiation in the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared (IR) regions must be determined. The products that are generated during its photodegradation can be identified by different analytical techniques.

Currently, the FOTOAIR group is focused on the study of the:

  1. Kinetics of gas-phase reactions of different pollutants emitted by vegetation with Cl atoms
  2. Reaction kinetics of OH radicals with biogenic pollutants and potential substitutes of GHGs.
  3. Photochemistry of oxygenated pollutants in the solar ultraviolet (UV) region
  4. Identification of reaction products in Cl-reactions and by UV photodissociation of oxygenates.
  5. Radiative properties of potential GHG substitutes in the infrared region (500 – 4000 cm-1) and the estimation of their global warming potential.

Los estudios cinéticos se llevan a cabo mediante espectroscopía infrarroja por transformada de Fourier (FTIR) a presión atmosférica y temperatura ambiente, y en el caso del radical OH con la técnica de fotólisis láser pulsada-fluorescencia inducida por láser (PLP-LIF) en función de la temperatura y presión. Para evaluar la fotoquímica de los contaminantes, se emplea un simulador solar. To evaluate the photochemistry of pollutants, a solar simulator is used and for the identification of reaction products, different analytical techniques are used such as FTIR spectroscopy, gas chromatography, or mass spectrometry coupled to atmospheric simulation chambers.