Presentation Title

Measuring the Degradation Rate Constant of PAHs to Combat Air Pollution

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Krishna Foster

Start Date

18-11-2017 9:59 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 134

Session

Poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

physical_mathematical_sciences

Abstract

The objective of this research is to measure the photodegradation rate of pyrene to better understand the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on singlet molecular oxygen. PAHs are a group of organic molecules that primarily produced from incomplete combustion reactions. Ubiquitous to the environment, PAHs are known to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. Though dangerous on their own, PAHs also react other molecules in the atmosphere to form peroxides and free radicals, which play a role in pollution. In order to resolve this problem in air pollution, this research begins by measuring the rate at which pyrene degrades in ultra-violet light, similar to the sun’s rays. Dilute pyrene samples were exposed to UV light in intervals of 3 minutes. After irradiance, the degradation of pyrene was measured using High Performance Liquid Chromatography. A calibration curve and graph were then generated. Experimental results of the rate constant showed an 11% difference from the same experiment done 6 years ago. This experiment will be replicated several more times, with different PAHs and in increasing aqueous environment in order to provide a model of the greater Los Angeles area.

Summary of research results to be presented

The rate constant in this experiment is similar to the constant determined in an experiment conducted 6 years ago with a percent difference of 11.1 %. At 360 seconds the averaged value deviated significantly, possibly due to human error, increasing the deviation obtained in our rate constant. More trials will have to be done in order to generate a more accurate model.

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Nov 18th, 9:59 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

Measuring the Degradation Rate Constant of PAHs to Combat Air Pollution

BSC-Ursa Minor 134

The objective of this research is to measure the photodegradation rate of pyrene to better understand the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on singlet molecular oxygen. PAHs are a group of organic molecules that primarily produced from incomplete combustion reactions. Ubiquitous to the environment, PAHs are known to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. Though dangerous on their own, PAHs also react other molecules in the atmosphere to form peroxides and free radicals, which play a role in pollution. In order to resolve this problem in air pollution, this research begins by measuring the rate at which pyrene degrades in ultra-violet light, similar to the sun’s rays. Dilute pyrene samples were exposed to UV light in intervals of 3 minutes. After irradiance, the degradation of pyrene was measured using High Performance Liquid Chromatography. A calibration curve and graph were then generated. Experimental results of the rate constant showed an 11% difference from the same experiment done 6 years ago. This experiment will be replicated several more times, with different PAHs and in increasing aqueous environment in order to provide a model of the greater Los Angeles area.