Achieving Healthy Indoor Environments via Improved Understanding of Surface-associated Chemical and Biological Processes

Speaker(s): 
Date: 
February 26, 2013 - 12:00pm
Location: 
90-3075
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

Indoor air pollution in the workplace, public buildings, and residential dwellings has the potential to adversely impact human health. Within these diverse indoor environments, chemical and biological processes that occur at surfaces and interfaces strongly influence the fate, transport, and generation of indoor pollutants. A molecular-level understanding of the physical and chemical properties and processes characteristic of indoor surfaces is key to developing resilient building materials that strengthen building integrity and safeguard human health by reducing human exposure to indoor pollutants. The primary goal of the research presented has been to evaluate the performance of novel, surface-modified activated carbon media for gas phase treatment of formaldehyde. Treatment performance evaluation is interpreted in light of physicochemical surface properties of the treatment media. Similarly, the research that is proposed also examines the critical impact of molecular-level structural and chemical properties of building material surfaces on resistance to moisture and microbiological growth. In this way, the proposed research will elucidate surface-mediated processes necessary to select, design, and develop new materials that improve building resilience and protect human health.

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