Atmospheric & Environmental Chemistry Seminar


Friday, February 12, 2021, 12:00pm



"Exploring Multiphase Oxidation Chemistry: From East Asian Haze to Indoor Environments" with Jon Abbatt, University of Toronto.

"Exploring Multiphase Oxidation Chemistry: From East Asian Haze to Indoor Environments" with Jon Abbatt, University of Toronto. 

Open to the Harvard community. Visit the event website for more information. Join via Zoom link

We know that we live in an oxidizing atmosphere, with fast oxidation processes occurring in the gas phase.  Although the importance of multiphase oxidation chemistry has been recognized from the early research into cloud water oxidation of dissolved SO2, the rates of many of these reactions are poorly known.  This is particularly true for reactions in aerosol particles which have solute strengths much higher than those prevalent in cloudwater.  In this seminar, some new laboratory results for the multiphase chemistry that occurs in a variety of environments will be presented.  A major question addressed is whether the kinetics of SO2 oxidation in aerosol particles are the same as those in cloudwater, with direct relevance to East Asian Haze. As well, we have been studying the nature of multiphase oxidation in indoor environments, as it occurs with ozone that is transported in from outside and with typical cleaning agents, such as chlorine bleach.  If time permits, new results of the oxidative aging of brown carbon aerosol will also be presented.

Jon Abbatt is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. Jon obtained his BSc from the UofT Chemistry Department in 1984 and spent 16 years in the United States (Harvard PhD, MIT Post Doc, University of Chicago Assistant/Associate Professor) before returning to UofT. His research topics include: rates and mechanisms of multiphase chemistry in outdoor and indoor environments; the role of particles in promoting the formation of both liquid water and ice  clouds; field measurements of VOCs and aerosol composition especially in remote regions such as the Arctic; aerosol chemistry related to health effects.

Jon has been on the editorial boards of Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Scientific Reports, Energy and Environmental Science, and Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. He is a member of the NASA/JPL Data Evaluation Panel for Atmosphere Modeling and was co-chair of the 2011 Gordon Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry.  He has served on the scientific steering committee of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry project (2011-2014) and on the NSERC Grant Selection Committee for physical and analytical chemistry. He has been given the Canadian Institute for Chemistry (CIC) Environmental Research Award (2012), was made a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2013), was elected to the Royal Society of Canada (2014) and was given a Killam Research Fellowship (2015).   He is the principal investigator of a large NSERC-funded climate-clouds-aerosols research network, NETCARE (Network on Climate and Aerosols: Addressing Key Uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments).   

Contact: Viral Shah,

See also: Climate