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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

The influence of the structure of combustion aerosols on climate change (AEROCLIMA)

Lead Researcher:
Esther Coz Diego

Research Centre:
Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT). Madrid.


Esther Coz DiegoFollowing the kick-off of the AEROCLIMA project, the first results have been obtained from analysing the structural properties of combustion aerosols. Different types of combustion processes were analysed by laboratory trials: the co-combustion of waste from the paper industry (biomass waste and secondary sludge), traffic emissions (a two-stroke scooter) and different types of cooker.

The experiments involving the co-combustion of biomass and secondary sludge in a fluidized bed took place at the CESAM pilot plant in the University of Aveiro (Aveiro, Portugal). The experiments involving emissions from scooters and cookers took place in the atmospheric simulation chamber of the LAC at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Villigen, Switzerland). Experiments with moving traffic took place in CIEMAT (Madrid) to make it possible to distinguish the contribution of re-suspended aerosols from those associated with combustion of the vehicle itself in this type of source.

The samples collected in all of these experiments were analysed using electron microscope techniques and X‑ray absorption in a synchrotron. The results of these studies were presented at the European Aerosol Conference in 2012 and in the annual report on results from the PSI. The corresponding articles for publication in scientific journals are being revised by their co-authors for publication throughout 2013. Likewise, samples were taken of emissions from Diesel-powered passenger transport vehicles (EURO-5) and the burning of biomass in domestic installations, the data from which is currently being analysed. Lastly, two instruments have been acquired and readied (an aethalometer and a nephelometer) for the phase in which the aerosols will be studied under real atmospheric conditions.

Scientific production
1 article published in Journals
3 papers at international conferences

Esther Coz Diego

A young researcher who obtained her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Madrid's King Charles III University in January 2009, specialising in the structural characterisation of atmospheric aerosols. She undertook a postdoctoral stay in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Stockholm (Sweden) financed by the International Meteorological Institute (IMI). She has more than 3 years training abroad in world-leading research groups in this field. She is currently working as a researcher in the Air Pollution Characterisation Group at the Energy, Environment and Technology Research Centre (CIEMAT), a public research body currently attached to the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness.

As a result of her research, she has published 8 works as the lead author in some of the most important scientific journals in the field of the atmosphere and aerosols, as well as her recent collaboration in a paper on cloud formation processes at the North Pole, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the journal that ranks third in terms of impact in science rankings after Nature and Science. She has also taken part in international meetings and congresses with more than 30 presentations of scientific papers.

The prizes she has received are proof of the excellence of her work from the start of her research career: the Juan Luis Plantalamor prize for the most innovative Final Degree Project, from the ETSI Mining School at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2002, and the prize for her doctoral thesis from the Spanish Association for Aerosol Science and Engineering, in 2009.

*All intellectual property rights belong to the author. Reproduction of all or part of the work without permission from the author is prohibited.
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