Persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers are regulated under international legally binding conventions because they pose risks to ecosystem and human health in areas remote from sources. These chemicals are semi-volatile, meaning they partition reversibly to atmospheric particulate matter, which affects their atmospheric transport and deposition processes and patterns. Significant progress has made in the recent years in describing the overall behavior and thermodynamics of atmospheric organic particulate matter, despite the challenge their chemical complexity poses to the atmospheric chemistry community. Since persistent organic pollutants have been shown to preferentially partition to the organic phase in atmospheric particulates, impacts associated with these pollutants in remote regions are coupled to the air quality and climate impacts of atmospheric aerosol particles.
We aim to develop novel modeling tools that couple a detailed description of atmospheric organic aerosols with the partitioning, chemistry and deposition of semi-volatile persistent organic pollutants. The project will combine the expertise on the behavior and fate of semi-volatile organic micropollutants at ACESo with the expertise on the formation, transport and transformation of atmospheric organic particulate matter at ACESl. Models under active developement in the project include the BETR Global multimedia contamiant fate model, and the atmospheric quality model PMCAMx. Funding for the project comes from the Bolin Centre for Climate Research, and the Norwegian Research Council through the OKOSYSTEM project and a partnership with the Norweigian Institute for Air Research.