Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Globetrotting Pollutants Turn Up On Toronto Street

Date:
October 20, 2004
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Toronto have detected migratory pollutants from a forest fire in Quebec and even particles from a sandstorm in the Sahara in Toronto air, findings that could someday give regulatory agencies an idea of who is contributing to the pollutants found in urban air.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have detected migratory pollutants from a forest fire in Quebec and even particles from a sandstorm in the Sahara in Toronto air, findings that could someday give regulatory agencies an idea of who is contributing to the pollutants found in urban air.

"It's a bit of detective work," says Greg Evans, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. "We happened to know when that forest fire was happening in Quebec and we realized that this mixture of different particles that we found in downtown Toronto is a signature for a forest fire." With the dust particles from the Sahara, the researchers recognized sand-like particles and were ultimately able to track their trajectory from the desert, across the Atlantic Ocean to Mexico, then north through the United States to Toronto.

The researchers used a device known as a laser ablation mass spectrometer (LAMS), which pulls in air from College Street and accelerates the pollutants to close to the speed of a bullet. As a particle passes by two lasers, sensors calculate its exact speed and tell the LAMS when to fire a third, high-powered laser that vaporizes a portion of the particle, sending fragments hurtling along a "flight tube". Lighter molecules take less time to travel down the flight tube, giving the researchers the particle's chemical signature. Evans says that once they build up a library of particles, this research could make it possible to identify pollutants without any knowledge of their origin.

The findings appear in the October issue of the journal Atmospheric Environment, and were funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Environment Canada, the Toxic Substance Research Initiative, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Globetrotting Pollutants Turn Up On Toronto Street." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041020092321.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2004, October 20). Globetrotting Pollutants Turn Up On Toronto Street. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041020092321.htm
University Of Toronto. "Globetrotting Pollutants Turn Up On Toronto Street." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041020092321.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) Iceland evacuates an area north of the country's Bardarbunga volcano, as the country's civil protection agency says it cannot rule out an eruption. Authorities have already warned airlines. As Joel Flynn reports, ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) Aluminum giant, Novelis, has partnered with Red Hare Brewing Company to introduce the first certified high-content recycled beverage can. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins