Course Summary

Nitrogen is an essential element in governing the development of living organisms, and in determining the pollution climate and influencing climate change of the Earth. Nitrogen in its various chemical forms plays a major role in the great number of environmental issues. It contributes to air pollution, acidification/ eutroplication of the soil, groundwater and surface water, decreasing ecosystem vitality and biodiversity, affecting ground water pollution through nitrate and aluminum leaching and climate change. Nitrogen potentially poses a threat to human and affecting visibility. This course will provide the students with a background in the fundamentals of tropospheric nitrogen compounds, and their reaction rates. Both anthropogenic and natural emissions of volatile reactive nitrogen compounds will be discussed together with their role in ozone and photochemical oxidant/smog formation. Also to be discussed will be reaction products of these compounds, and the recent enhancement of reactive nitrogen compounds in the atmosphere.

Course Syllabus

  • Importance of Nitrogen Compounds in Air Quality
  • Types of Nitrogen Compounds
  • Reaction Rates in the Atmosphere
  • Nitrogen Compound Lifetimes
  • Nitrogen Biogeochemical Processes
  • Sources and Sinks of Atmospheric Nitrogen Compounds
  • Agricultural Emissions (Crop and Animal) of Nitrogen Compounds, and Emission Factors
  • Atmospheric Chemistry of Nitrogen Compounds (Ozone and Particulate Matter)
  • Aerosol Chemistry in the Western and Eastern US
  • Mixing ratios in various urban and rural areas and over the continents; Nitrogen Compounds distributions in North Carolina, U.S., and the Global Troposphere
  • Rationing as a tool to evaluate sources and data quality
  • Importance of Nitrogen Compounds in Regulations and Policy for Air Quality