LSU professor to discuss fog, air pollution

Published: Oct 23, 2007 4:31:39 PM
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Kalliat T. Valsaraj

Kalliat T. Valsaraj

Kalliat T. Valsaraj, Roddey Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana State University, will speak on fog chemistry and air pollution on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in the McMillian Auditorium, Ross Hall 136. This lecture is part of the Department of Chemical Engineering seminar series.

Aerosols in the atmosphere play a critical role in determining the fate of atmospheric pollutants and also influence global climate change. Fog is a lower atmospheric, near-surface cloud and plays a role in determining local weather patterns. In this respect fog-processing of organic chemicals is important to understand. Relatively little is known about the organic composition of fog in many parts of the world and approximately 50 percent of material in fog has not been characterized. Atmospheric transformations in a foggy environment are driven by heterogeneous reactions in thin water films, which have been largely unexplored. Valsaraj's laboratory has been engaged in a six-year project focusing on understanding the chemistry of fog in the Gulf Coast region between Houston and Baton Rouge.

Valsaraj received his master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and his doctorate from Vanderbilt University. He has been on the faculty of chemical engineering at Louisiana State University since 1986. His research is in environmental chemical engineering and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and various private industries.