Research Spotlight:


Global Aircraft Emissions

The Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment at MIT has developed an open source emissions inventory for global civil aviation based on flight schedules and modeling of aircraft performance and emissions. This emission inventory is now being used in atmospheric modeling work to improve our understanding of how aviation impacts the atmosphere. For example, recent work has shown that some flights create many times more tropospheric ozone than others. This implies that the environmental impact of a flight depends strongly on where (and when) it occurs – as well as its length.

Learn more about the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment’s research.

Research Spotlight:


Semivolatile organics in engine exhaust

Measurements of the emissions of organic compounds from fossil fuel combustion generally focus on species that are high in volatility (VOCs) as well as those that are extremely low in volatility (as particulate matter). In between these two extremes are semivolatile organics and intermediate-volatility organics, which can represent a large fraction of the total emissions but are rarely measured. The Kroll group has developed a new instrument for the measurement of these compounds, which is providing new insights into their emissions from various sources. Recent studies have focused on the emissions from diesel engines and commercial aircraft.

Learn more about the Kroll group’s research here.


Research Spotlight:

Plants Emit Too

Plants Emit Too!

Colette Heald’s group investigates what controls the emission of gases and particles from vegetation and models how changes in climate and land use can contribute to changes in atmospheric composition. A recent study estimated the global emission and atmospheric budget of fungal spores for the first time.

Learn more about the Heald group’s research.