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Soot Science: It's A Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It

Date:
November 20, 2001
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
Chimney sweeps are not the only people who make a living out of soot. Some scientists have devoted careers to studying soot, which turns out to be a somewhat mysterious substance.

Chimney sweeps are not the only people who make a living out of soot. Some scientists have devoted careers to studying soot, which turns out to be a somewhat mysterious substance.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory is developing a process to make “designer soot,” a task that—considering the ubiquity of this gritty, grimy material—isn’t as easy as one might think.

The soot produced under controlled conditions in NIST’s spray combustion facility is part of an effort to develop metrology for this material. Today, the physical and chemical properties of soot cannot be measured with certainty, a concern to both industry and government regulators. NIST is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to improve the monitoring of air quality and the understanding of how airborne particulate matter (such as soot) may affect human health. NIST’s role includes the development of standard materials that can be used to calibrate analytical instruments that measure particulate matter.

Researchers plan to control fuel type and combustion conditions so that an easily reproducible “designer soot” recipe can be developed.

Potential applications for this research extend beyond atmospheric science and environmental monitoring. For example, a greater understanding of the chemistry behind carbon particulate formation would be very useful to persons working in fire research (including NIST’s Building and Fire Research Laboratory, which does extensive studies of soot properties, behavior and impacts) and nanotechnology.


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The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Soot Science: It's A Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120050354.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2001, November 20). Soot Science: It's A Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120050354.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Soot Science: It's A Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120050354.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

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