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CHEMM: Chemistry of Homes – Environmental Microbes and Moisture

Microorganisms abound in homes. Whether those fungi and bacteria in the dust and on different surfaces in typical houses are alive and active is not well known, however. That is where studying the chemicals that microorganisms emit when they grow can help. When they are growing, microorganisms are very creative chemists, creating a diverse array of emitted chemicals from the smorgasbord of products they encounter indoors.

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Principle Investigator: Rachel Adams

Year Awarded: 2018

Institutions: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Ohio State University, and University of California at Berkeley

Hydrolysis Reactions on Indoor Surfaces: Impact on Indoor Air Chemistry

In this study, we’ll use the principles of chemistry and physics to develop a numerical model that will enable us to predict when and where phthalates and organophosphates may degrade indoors, leading to negative health effects.  Through collaboration with other Sloan Foundation grantees, this model will be integrated into MOCCIE, a holistic model of indoor air quality.

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Principle Investigator: V. Faye McNeill

Year Awarded: 2018

Institution: Columbia University

Indoor Sources and Sinks of Gas-Phase Oxidants

Lower air-exchange rates and different sources (e.g. cooking) in residences may lead to different oxidizing conditions. The proposed project combines field, laboratory, and chamber studies to determine what controls indoor oxidant levels in residences.

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Principle Investigator: Tara Kahan

Year Awarded: 2018

Institutions: Syracuse University, University of Saskatchewan, and York University

Customization and Application of a Novel Chemically-Resolved Volatility and Polarity Separator for Improved Understanding of Indoor Air Chemistry

To help address the need for better characterization of indoor air chemistry, this project aims to develop a new field-deployable automated instrument for the simultaneous measurement of organic gas and particle chemical composition.

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Principle Investigators: Brent Williams, Glenn Morrison, Dylan Millet, and Nathan Kreisberg

Year Awarded: 2018

Institution: University of Washington in St. Louis

Development, Characterization, and Deployment of a Low-Cost Monitor for Distributed Measurements of VOCs in the Indoor Environment

This project involves developing a new approach towards the measurement of indoor VOCs, the use of real-time monitors that are relatively low in cost, enabling their widespread use. Such monitors will be made up of an array of low-cost techniques for measuring airborne organic species.

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Principle Investigator: Jesse H. Kroll

Year Awarded: 2018

Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Improved Chemical Characterization of Indoor Organics by Isomer-resolved Spectrometry

The proposed instrument will separate isomers by molecular structure and characterize them by their molecular formula alongside quantification of known compounds, a significant advance over current tools for the measurement of specific molecules, which provide little information about unknown compounds.

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Principle Investigators: Gabriel Isaacman-VanWertz and Farrokh Jazizadeh Karimi

Year Awarded: 2018

Institution: Virginia Tech

Analytical Platforms for the Detection of Reactive Nitrogen Indoors

The reactive nitrogen species, nitrous acid (HONO), ammonia (NH3), and amines (NR3) are critical to chemistry of the outdoor environment. These species are also expected to impact indoor chemistry. To understand this chemistry, accurate quantitative measurements of HONO, NH3, and NR3 that are suitable for routine application to indoor environments are necessary.

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Principle Investigator: Trevor Vanden Boer

Year Awarded: 2018

Institution: York University

Measurements of Radical Chemistry and Aerosol Production in Indoor Environments

This project will involve comprehensive measurements of OH and peroxy radical concentrations in a variety of indoor environments designed to improve our understanding of the reactive transformation of chemicals in indoor air, including the production of secondary aerosols.

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Principle Investigators: Philip Stevens and Brandon Boor

Year Awarded: 2018

Institutions: Indiana University and Purdue University

The Nature of Multiphase Chemistry in Indoor Environments

The overall goal of this project is to assess the multiphase chemistry that occurs on indoor surfaces and aerosol particles, with three general areas of focus:

-Oxidation chemistry of organic material, such as skin and cooking oils
-Chemistry of indoor combustion emissions, such as PAHs, cigarette smoke and HONO
-Chemistry of cleaning materials, such as chlorine bleach

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Principle Investigator: Jon Abbatt

Year Awarded: 2016

Institution: University of Toronto