Energy and Aerosols Laboratory

Aerosols are particles of liquid or solid suspended in a gas.  Nanoparticles of soot and metal oxides often form in high-temperature environments, such as flames. These particles are typically fractal-like agglomerates of primary particles, and have deleterious effects on human health and climate.

At the Energy and Aerosols Laboratory (EAL) we study the behaviour and properties of aerosols in engineered systems.  Although aerosol processes can be important to materials synthesis, EAL focusses on the particles with negative impacts that we would like to control at the source or remove.  We undertake fundamental research on the measurement of soot (Black Carbon) as well as applied research on aerosols produced in combustion (engines, fires, flares), aerosols in buildings (filtration, energy recovery units, ventilation design) and industrial processes such as powder classification.

Our belief at EAL is that truly new insights will come from experimental research, but theoretical modelling is essential to interpretation of measurements.

Update Fall 2016: The UBC Energy and Aerosols Group is a member of FlareNet, and we are seeking excellent USRA, MASc and PhD candidates to work on theoretical, laboratory and field studies of the particles produced globally by flaring in the oil and gas industry.  The theoretical work will investigate the relation between soot micro- and nanostructure and the optical properties of the aerosols that are relevant to climate change.  The experimental research will include development of an unmanned aerial vehicle to characterize flare plumes in the field.

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A North Sea flare (By Varodrig – CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19089930)

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Laser induced incandescence image of soot produced by a high pressure natural gas jet in the UBC Shock Tube


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HR TEM image of soot from a heavy-duty natural gas engine