Re ECF Project: ECF 2015-29

Project Title: Simulation of structural, spectroscopic, aggregation and adsorption properties of carbon black in PM2.5

Applicant: Prof Ruiqin Zhang, City University of Hong Kong

Total Approved Grant: $500,000

Duration: 1/3/2016 to 28/2/2017

Project Status/Remarks: On-going

Carbon black is an important component of PM2.5. It has a strong absorption ability and can generate PM2.5 by aggregation. It can be very harmful for human health by absorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and other toxic and harmful substances. Recent studies found that carbon black is very likely a neglected second largest greenhouse effect material right after CO2. It can promote cloud formation and cause cooling or heating. In addition, carbon black attached to the iceberg white snow can on the one hand absorb heat and on the other hand hinder heat reflection, leading to accelerated melting of icebergs, glaciers and ice sheets. The project aims to investigate the carbon black component structures in PM2.5, to establish representative models of carbon black, to obtain the spectroscopic properties of the corresponding structures, to study the aggregation of carbon black components and the adsorption of toxic substances on the aggregates so as to understand the formation of PM2.5, and finally to propose possible measures of prevention and reduction of PM2.5.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
To be available upon completion of the project