OAL News and Information

News, special announcements, and other information from the Organic Analytical Laboratory team at DRI. 

Honoring Dr. Vera Samburova with the Peter B. Wagner Medal of Excellence

Dr. Vera Samburova was awarded the Peter B. Wagner Medal of Excellence for DRI Scholars in the Early Stages of Career Development Award at DRI’s convocation ceremony this past Thursday, June 2nd.  This award recognizes scholars who meet standards of excellence in research creativity, productivity, and contributions to science. Recipients of this award must demonstrate a deep commitment to the Institute through participation in internal activities and programs, as well as exhibit leadership in the broader scientific community. Sue Wagner, a long-time friend and supporter of our institution established this award in memory of her husband Peter, who tragically perished with three of his DRI colleagues in a plane crash in the Sierra Nevada Mountains while conducting research in 1980. Sue served our state as a State Senator, Lieutenant Governor and a member of the Nevada Gaming Commission alongside current Governor Brian Sandoval. Dr. Vera Samburova has been chosen to receive...
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OAL team works on analysis of biomass-burning emissions

Emissions from wildland fires and biomass fuel use contribute to regional air pollution events, global scale radiative forcing and climate change, and cause severe health effects. However, the role of organic compounds in these processes is still largely unknown and underestimated. For this reason, the OAL team performs combustion experiments in the DRI’s combustion chamber to characterize in details chemical and physical properties of biomass-burning emissions, especially organic compounds. Moreover, to study atmospheric aging of combustion pollutants, OAL students operate the oxidation the flow reactor (OFR) that needs only 1-2 minutes to mimic 7 days of oxidation in real atmospheric conditions. This work is supported by NSF (grant no. AGS-1544425, P.I.: V. Samburova, co-PIs: H. Moosmüller and A. Khlystov), NASA (grant no. NNX15AI48G, P.I.: H. Moosmüller, co-P.I.: V. Samburova), and DRI’s Wildland Fire Science Center (WFSC)
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Congratulations to Jessica Connolly

jessica1Congratulations to Jessica Connolly who successfully defended her master’s thesis entitled “Development of a Digital Microfluidic Lab-on-a-chip for Analysis of Atmospheric Inorganic Ions” on November 29th at The Desert Research Institute (DRI). This research was a collaborative effort with an engineering group at Duke University, NC, and supported by the National Science Foundation under grant AGS-1408241. She came to work at DRI from Ireland in 2014 where she began her Master of Science degree in Atmospheric Science. She has worked on various research as part of the OAL group, including co-authoring a paper published by Science of the Total Environment entitled “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in biomass-burning emissions and their contribution to light absorption and aerosol toxicity”. Additionally, she has presented her research at conferences such as American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, CA, (AGU) and Air and Waste Management Association conference in Raleigh, NC, (A&WMA). At A&WMA she was awarded first...
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OAL on Face the State

Screenshot 2016 11 29 10.33.21On November 26, 2016 OAL Director Dr. Andrey Khlystov was featured on KTVN's Face The State. Click the links below to watch Andrey's interview and discussion of the OAL's pioneering e-cigarette research.  http://www.ktvn.com/category/169828/face-the-state KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video    
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A few clarifications about our e-cigeratte study

drypuffIn the Organic Analytic Laboratory at DRI our main specialty is sampling and detailed chemical analysis of organic air pollutants. Our team has more than 20 years of experience in this area. E-cigarette research is new for us, but involves similar sampling and analytical techniques. Having seen advertisements for e-cigarettes that claimed they are safe because liquids contain only FDA approved ingredients, we decided to apply our expertise to see what is in e-cigarette vapors. This resulted in publication of the first set of results concerning the role of flavorings in aldehyde formation during vaping. Following the publication of our paper, we received a lot of attention from media, the blogosphere, and individual vapers. This shows the importance of the problem and we are pleased to have made a contribution to the ongoing discussion of the pros and cons of vaping. While the news coverage was generally accurate, we noticed some misunderstanding...
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Hazardous chemicals discovered in flavored e-cigarette vapor

ecigarettessamplerScientists stress need for thorough research into flavored e-liquids RENO – Building on more than 30 years of air quality research in some of the most polluted urban environments on Earth, a team of atmospheric scientists at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) has turned their attention toward the growing e-cigarette industry and the unidentified effects of vaping on human health. New research published today in Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), a journal of the American Chemical Society, reports that the aerosols (commonly called vapors) produced by flavored e-cigarettes liquids contain dangerous levels of hazardous chemicals known to cause cancer in humans. The study “Flavoring compounds dominate toxic aldehyde production during e-cigarette vaping” confirms that these toxic aldehydes, such as formaldehyde, are formed not by evaporation, but rather during the chemical breakdown of the flavored e-liquid caused by the rapid heating process (pyrolysis) that occurs inside e-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). “How...
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