ATMOSPHERIC REACTIVITY PLATFORM
Air pollution is a major environmental issue. For several decades disturbing changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere have been observed. These, largely related to human activity, can cause pollution or nuisance for humans and their environment or even changes in climate.
The PRAT platform, managed by the CNRS and the University of Orleans, studies the impact on health, climate and environment of gaseous and particulate pollutants emitted by human activity (transport, pesticides, heating, activities industrial …).
Two complementary approaches are used to better understand the composition of the atmosphere:
- Laboratory studies
HELIOS, an atmospheric simulation chamber with solar irradiation unique in Europe, shows how volatile organic compounds (VOCs) evolve under controlled and realistic conditions.
- Field experiences
Supersite Voltaire, co-managed by the CNRS, the University of Orléans and Lig’air, a monitoring network for air quality in the Centre – Val de Loire Region, is devoted to the continuous measurement and monitoring of regulated air pollutants (gas: O3, NO, NO2 and particles: PM10) of the Orléans agglomeration.
All these measurements make it possible to carry out modeling on a larger scale in order to study global phenomena such as global warming. The platform also makes it possible to test the atmospheric impact of new products (solvents, pesticides, pollution control materials) before their marketing in order to make sure that they are not harmful for the man, for the planet.
M2 OF LABORATORIES
4 RESEARCHERS – 5 ENGINEERS
3 NATIONAL – 2 EUROPEAN
The PRAT platform has sites and a state-of-the-art analytical park, allowing the measurement of a large number of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and particles, with some unique instruments in France:
- HELIOS: Teflon hemisphere with a volume of 90 m3 at atmospheric P ° and T °, variable relative humidity, solar or artificial irradiation, or without irradiation
- Super Site Voltaire for continuous measurement of regulated pollutants (O3, NOx, PM10) and occasionally other pollutants (volatile organic compounds, PM2.5, …); weather channel ; university training site
- Important analytical park for the measurement of gases and particles: PTR-ToF-MS; API-ToF-MS; CPG-FID, PID, TD; THIS ; UHPLC-LCMS; IRTF; Specific analyzers of NOx, O3, HCHO, HONO, SMPS, CRDS particles.
- Specific instrumentation developed within the CNRS: chemical ionization mass spectrometers for ROx free radicals and OrbitrapTM ion trap for aerosols; Infrared laser spectrometers with resonant cavities (OFCEAS) for trace gases; CRDS NO3
Most of these instruments are portable in the field. Thus the platform PRAT makes possible a perfect characterization of the air, whether it is the ambient air, the air of a confined space, the air to the contacts of materials, vegetation, animals.
The applications of the PRAT platform are as follows:
- Transformation and atmospheric impact of new products (solvents, pesticides, pollution control materials or plants, …) with the objectives of:
- Find less toxic solvents for health
- Estimate their atmospheric persistence
- Study their degradation products
- Calculate their POCP (Photochemical Ozone Creation Potentials)
- Characterization of outdoor pollution (gaseous and particulate) in relation to transport, heating, industrial activities, fires, etc.
- Indoor pollution or confined atmospheres: identification of primary and secondary sources of toxic pollutants
- Degradation of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere: health and climate impacts
- Inter-comparison and instrument tests dedicated to air characterization
The PRAT platform provides the expertise of a team of technicians, engineers and researchers able to solve specific problems and carry out projects from their conception to their valuation.
The platform is open to the national and international scientific community and industrialists for specific studies or, more broadly, within the framework of projects:
- Collaborative projects on regional, national and European funding
- Services / Expertises : tests on products or instruments, research and identification of gaseous emissions, …
- University training and information support to the general public
- Decision support for air quality and forecasting
PRAT Platform manager
Researcher at CNRS/ICARE
02.38.25.54.94 / firstname.lastname@example.org
ICARE – UPR 3021 – CNRS – 1C, av. de la recherche scientifique – 45 071 Orléans Cedex 2
LPC2E – UMR 7328 – CNRS/Université d’Orléans – 3A, av. de la recherche scientifique – 45 071 Orléans Cedex 2