The general mechanism of VOC transformation and related SOA formation can thus be summarized in the preceding four fairly simple steps. However, for a detailed understanding of these steps, for example on the level at which they could be incorporated into a model framework with predictive capabilities, many more aspects will complicate the picture. What are the sources of VOC (anthropogenic/biogenic)? What are the actual VOC molecules? What are the atmospheric conditions influencing the oxidation pathways (radiation, temperature, trace gas composition)? How can we measure the thousands of OVOC that exist in the atmosphere? What are the volatilities, and what are the reactivities of these VOC? What is the role of multi-phase chemistry in the formation of SOA? What are the properties (volatility, reactivity, hygroscopicity) of the resulting SOA?
Within the above questions lies the scope of the research conducted in our Atmospheric Physical Chemistry group. The approach to tackle these, as outlined in the COALA project, is to always try to conduct comprehensive studies where several of the questions are probed at the same time. This allows us to keep focusing on the most important outstanding issues in VOC-OVOC-SOA conversion.
More detailed scientific background can be found via the links below. On-going projects and recent events can also be found under NEWS. For our latest research findings, see PUBLICATIONS.