Energy production, conversion, and utilization, as well as other forms of industrial activity can be significant sources of organic pollutants in ambient air. These substances, or their transformation products, may be toxic to humans or may contribute to degradation of visibility, or to production of unacceptable levels of ozone in the lower atmosphere.
The goal of the Center on Airborne Organics is to better understand pollution of ambient airsheds by energy and other industrial sources and to use that understanding to prescribe new means of detecting and tracing organic pollutants and new methodologies for preventing pollutant emissions altogether.
This Center, one of the exploratory environmental research centers
funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is headquartered
at MIT and is directed by Professor Jack B. Howard. Specific projects
focus on sources, atmospheric transport and transformation and
engineering controls for organic pollutant vapors and aerosols. To
provide a strong group of experts to address these issues, the Center
operates as a consortium of MIT,
Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the
Institute of Technology (NJIT).
Dr. John H. Seinfeld (Caltech) and Dr. Robert Pfeffer (NJIT) are
Annual Reports:  (available as a PDF)
Annual Reports from Previous Years
    
Summer Symposium Reports:
1996, "Advanced Instrumentation for Air Quality Measurements"
1997, "Fine particles in the Atmosphere" [PDF, 99Kb]
1998, "Costs and Benefits Estimation in Air Quality Regulations" [PDF, 93Kb]
1999, "EPA's Urban Air Toxics Strategy" [PDF, 114Kb]
2000, "The Future of Diesel" [PDF, 140Kb]
of Current Projects
Center Directors and Science Advisory Committee