Environmental and Atmospheric Chemistry

What is Environmental Chemistry?

Chemistry is everywhere in the environment surrounding us. Chemical substances comprise the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil to which we grow food. Certain chemicals, both man-made and naturally occurring, can exert a serious impact on the environment and its inhabitants, such as the human. Chemical reactions, taking place in the air, in the water, and of course, in our body, govern the impact of those chemicals.

Environmental Chemistry is a new branch of chemistry to understand chemistry taking place in the environment and at the interface between the environment and its inhabitants. Environmental chemistry is a highly interdisciplinary area, applying fundamentals of Analytical, Organic, Inorganic as well as physical chemistry to understand and solve the most important and imminent environmental issues.

What is Atmospheric Chemistry?


Atmospheric Chemistry is a branch of Environmental Chemistry, focusing on the chemistry taking place in the air (both outdoor and indoor), in the cloud, in small particles suspended in the air (atmospheric aerosol), as well as on surfaces exposed to the atmosphere.

Atmospheric chemistry plays a pivotal role in, arguably, two of the most important environmental problems that we are facing in the 21st century: Air Pollution and Global Climate Change.

Our Research: Atmospheric Aerosol

Our research group at the Department of Chemistry, the University of Alberta, will perform research activities to improve our fundamental understanding of Atmospheric Chemistry, knowing that a solid understanding is a prerequisite to solving those important environmental problems. In particular, we focus on the chemistry leading to the formation and evolution of suspended particulate matter called atmospheric aerosol which is playing an extremely important role in both Air Pollution and Global Climate Change.