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The influence of the structure of combustion aerosols on climate change (AEROCLIMA)

16th national competition for scientific and technical research

Climate change

Senior Researcher : Esther Coz Diego

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Research Centre or Institution : Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT)


Following the kick-off of the AEROCLIMA project, the first results have been obtained from analysing the structural properties of combustion aerosols. Different types of combustion processes were analysed by laboratory trials: the co-combustion of waste from the paper industry (biomass waste and secondary sludge), traffic emissions (a two-stroke scooter) and different types of cooker.

The experiments involving the co-combustion of biomass and secondary sludge in a fluidized bed took place at the CESAM pilot plant in the University of Aveiro (Aveiro, Portugal). The experiments involving emissions from scooters and cookers took place in the atmospheric simulation chamber of the LAC at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Villigen, Switzerland). Experiments with moving traffic took place in CIEMAT (Madrid) to make it possible to distinguish the contribution of re-suspended aerosols from those associated with combustion of the vehicle itself in this type of source.

The samples collected in all of these experiments were analysed using electron microscope techniques and X‑ray absorption in a synchrotron. The results of these studies were presented at the European Aerosol Conference in 2012 and in the annual report on results from the PSI. The corresponding articles for publication in scientific journals are being revised by their co-authors for publication throughout 2013. Likewise, samples were taken of emissions from Diesel-powered passenger transport vehicles (EURO-5) and the burning of biomass in domestic installations, the data from which is currently being analysed. Lastly, two instruments have been acquired and readied (an aethalometer and a nephelometer) for the phase in which the aerosols will be studied under real atmospheric conditions.

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