By being the first to fully track the changing chemistry of carbon molecules in the air, a Virginia Tech professor could change the way we study pollutants, smog, and emissions to the atmosphere.
Gabriel Isaacman-VanWertz, lead scientist on a new study published in Nature Chemistry and assistant professor in the Charles Edward Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has established a method of tracking reactions between air and carbon-based compounds — a feat that has been previously elusive to researchers.
This new finding could allow researchers to study pollution, smog, and haze in a comprehensive way, backed by data that accurately depicts a compound’s behavior over time.
“There are tens of thousands of different compounds in the atmosphere,” Isaacman-VanWertz said. “In general, the focus of my work is to study the chemistry of how those tens of thousands of compounds interact with each other and change with time.”