EPA Center on Airborne Organics

Jack B. Howard, Director

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, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Dr. John H. Seinfeld (Caltech) and Dr. Robert Pfeffer (NJIT) are Associate Directors.

Annual Reports: [2000] (available as a PDF)

Annual Reports from Previous Years

[1999] [1998] [1997] [1996] [1995]

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]

List of Current Projects

Center Directors and Science Advisory Committee

This center is funded by


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Last modified: February 28, 2001