Study of black carbon aerosol lands EPA grant

Greg Carmichael, Karl Kammermeyer Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering in the UI College of Engineering and codirector of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), and assistant professor Scott Spak have received a three-year Environmental Protection Agency grant to study the pollution and climate effects of black carbon aerosol (BC).

The total award of $900,000, including a $324,000 UI portion, will fund a joint project between the UI, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The project will provide a systematic evaluation of BC, with respect to its effects on human health and climate in California, India and the Arctic.

Atmospheric exposure to BC particles has been linked to increased mortality and pulmonary disease. Because BC is a strong, short-lived, climate-forcing agent, control of BC emissions offers the possibility of slowing the rate of global warming. The results of this research will inform policies designed to reduce air quality and climate change impacts.

Spak has joint appointments in the UI Public Policy Center, School of Urban and Regional Planning, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.