The Aerosol and Air Quality Research Laboratory (AAQRL) is housed in the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Our focus is on research and education related to particulates in gaseous suspension, known as aerosols. AAQRL’s contributions to this field span the full process of technology development, from synthesis and characterization to eventual application. Through this research, we aim to mitigate the negative impacts of aerosols on the environment and leverage their potential for positive contributions to society.
CURRENT RESEARCH FOCI (Click to see detail)
The fundamental aspects of particle formation and growth include the mapping out of clusters in the sub-nanometer ranges, along with the charge, morphology (shape) and chemical composition. This has been enabled experimentally by use of high flow differential mobility analyzers coupled to aerosol mass spectrometers; and then developing models to predict the formation and growth. AAQRL researchers rely on using these fundamentals of particle formation and growth and apply it in a range of applications listed below.
- Design of innovative low cost sensors for PM measurement; techniques to increase robustness of inverting signals to obtain stable and reliable measurements. Application of size and composition measurements in portable instrumentation. Development of innovative sensors using aerosol synthesis techniques
- Novel methodologies of solar energy harvesting materials for photovoltaics (perovskites) and catalysts (crumpled graphene composites)
- Aerosol formation and capture studies of particles in high pressure combustion environments
- Conversion of carbon dioxide to value added materials in scalable, cost effective systems
- Particle composites for agricultural applications effective delivery and uptake of nutrients by plants to reduce environmental and energy footprint
- Nanomedicine applications: design of functional nanomaterials for treatment of cancer, and eye diseases.
- Understanding spread of infectious diseases (characterizing viral aerosols)
- Drinking water distribution systems transport of contaminants and lead
- Innovative Aerosol CVD reactor for thin films for battery electrodes. Roll to roll processing.
- Computational models for aerosol formation and growth modal, moment based, discrete, discrete-sectional
- Air quality studies (indoor and outdoor) using the varied instrumentation primarily low cost sensors