Laboratory of Air Quality Studies (LAQS) -Pandis Research Group
Air quality and climate change are two of the most important environmental problems of our time. The World Health Organization is estimating that 4.2 million people die every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution and another 3.8 million die as a result of household exposure to smoke from dirty cook stoves and fuels. At the same time climate change poses major risks to human health and security, food security, water supply and economic growth.
LAQS is part of the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of Patras and the Institute of Chemical Engineering of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas at Patras, Greece and its Center of Studies on Air quality and Climate Change (C-STACC). Our research aims to understand how atmospheric processes impact air quality, climate, and human health through a combination of theory, measurements and simulations. A central focus in our research program is atmospheric particulate matter (aerosols) which is responsible for most of the health problems caused by air pollution. Aerosol interactions with solar radiation and clouds clouds, and their description in models represent one of the major sources of uncertainty in climate projections.
LAQS is involved in the development of instrumentation for the measurement of gas and particulate-phase pollutants and measurement techniques required to study atmospheric processes. The atmospheric simulation chamber of LAQS and C-STACC is a state-of-the-art facility, part of the EUROCHAMP-2020 European infrastructure, which allows studies of how pollutants evolve after they are released in the atmosphere. We participate in field studies around the world (Pittsburgh, Mexico City, Paris, Po Valley, Finland, Greece, etc.) to characterize air pollution, identify its sources, study atmospheric processes, and propose solutions to various problems.
The modeling activities in LAQS focus on the development of open-source atmospheric chemical transport models and modules. The codes developed by LAQS are now used in Climate Models and Earth System Models and by air pollution regulatory agencies in Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, China, Australia.
C-STACC is closely affiliated with the:
- Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts (LAPI) in EPFL (Switzerland)
- Center of Atmospheric Particulate Studies (CAPS) in Carnegie Mellon (US)
- Environmental Chemical Process Laboratory (ECPL) in the Department of Chemistry in the University of Crete (Greece)
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