Shuang’s paper published on ES&T!

We are super excited about Shuang’s paper just published online on Environmental Science & Technology! (LINK) Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are responsible for malodors and certain health issues related to indoor air. Henry’s law constants, and partitioning coefficients in general, governs the behavior and exposure pathway of organic pollutants. The Henry’s law constants of many MVOCs were either unknown or unreliable. In this paper, Shuang developed a reliable method to determine Henry’s law constants of key MVOCs. In collaboration with Dr. Chen Wang at SUSTech (LINK), we have also input Shuang’s results into a 2D chemical partitioning plot to simulate behavior of these MVOCs in the indoor environment.

Tania’s paper published on JPCA!

Check out our newest publication, led by Tania, on Journal of Physical Chemistry A (LINK). We found that the presence of olefins (C=C double bonds) can compromise the accuracy of iodometry. Iodometry is a technique used widely in a number of fields to quantify peroxide contents. It’s been known that olefins may react with the molecular iodine intermediate generated in the process of iodometry. Using detailed laboratory measurements and a kinetic box model, our study for the first time studied this matrix effect systematically. We found that this matrix effect is negligible for outdoor aerosol, but can be significant for indoor materials, as well as edible oils.

Congratulations on Max’s new paper!

Dried cow dung is widely burned as solid fuel in developing part of the world. However, the chemicals arising from this type of fuel are extremely poorly understood. In our new contribution lead by Max, we surveyed across a number of key chemical properties of emissions from cow dung burning. These include the light absorption of particles, emission factor of levoglucosan (tracer for biomass burning), an other detailed chemical feature monitored by LC-MS. The major conclusion from our work is that the levoglucosan emission factor from cow dung is much less than that from wood burning. There was also a substantially larger organic nitrogen pool in the cow dung emission than wood burning emissions.

Link to the paper:

Group Lunch at Pampa


Had a great group lunch at Pampa Brazilian Stake House!

Group lunch 20200218 Pampa Brazilian Stakehouse

back row (left to right): Max, Chester, Wayne, Ran, Tania, Shuang
front row (left to right): Jessica, Keifer, Timothy

Our progess so far in exploration of the nearby restaurants:

Tanuki Kyoto Sushi (Japanese, Nov 2018)
Rosso Pizzeria (Italian, Nov 2019)
Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse (Brazilian, Feb 2020)

Meeting with the ministers

JELF announcement 3

Ran is feeling honored for an opportunity to introduce the research done at the Zhao group in front of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Ministry of Science and Sports, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, and the U of A president David Turpin.

They were impressed by and appreciated the hard work everyone had done in the lab. Congratulations to us all!