Oil sands operations as a large source of secondary organic aerosols
Dr. Craig Stroud | Environment and Climate Change Canada
Worldwide heavy oil and bitumen deposits amount to 9 trillion barrels of oil distributed in over 280 basins around the world, with Canada home to oil sands deposits of 1.7 trillion barrels. The global development of this resource and the increase in oil production from oil sands has caused environmental concerns over the presence of toxic compounds in nearby ecosystems and acid deposition. The contribution of oil sands exploration to secondary organic aerosol formation, an important component of atmospheric particulate matter that affects air quality and climate, remains poorly understood. In this seminar, we present data from airborne measurements over the Canadian oil sands and laboratory smog chamber experiments and results from a chemistry numerical model to provide a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of secondary organic aerosol production from oil sands emissions. We find that the evaporation and atmospheric oxidation of low-volatility organic vapours from the mined oil sands material is directly responsible for the majority of the observed secondary organic aerosol mass. The resultant production rates of 45–84 tonnes per day make the oil sands one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America. Our findings suggest that the production of the more viscous crude oils could be a large source of secondary organic aerosols in many production and refining regions around the world.
Dr. Stroud is a research scientist in the air quality research division at Environment and Climate Change Canada. He contributes tothe development and evaluation of Environment Canada's air quality numerical models. These models are used to create the public forecast of the air quality health index. Dr. Stroud was the lead author of the "Atmospheric Chemistry Processes" chapter in the 2010 Canada Smog Science Assessment.  He is considered an expert in modelling the chemical transformation of organic compounds in the atmosphere. Dr. Stroud was awarded the Governor General's Silver Medal and Faculty of Science Gold Medal for his undergraduate studies at York University. He then moved to the US and completed a PhD in chemistry from the University of Colorado. He was then awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at NCAR before returning back to Canada to start his current position at Environment Canada.
Contact at the MS2Discovery Research Institute: Hind Al-Abadleh (Host of the speaker, Multidisciplinary Talk, Tectons 1, 5, and others)
Refreshments will be provided
November 4, 2016
3:30-4:30pm | Location: P2007
The MS2Discovery Seminar Series:
Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo
This event is hosted by the MS2Discovery Interdisciplinary Research Institute | Waterloo