Albert A Presto
I am an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a member of CMU's Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies (CAPS). My research focuses on pollutant emissions from energy extraction and consumption and the subsequent atmospheric transformations that these emissions undergo. Energy production and consumption is a major source of pollutants and greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Gas and oil wells emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Cars and trucks operating on gasoline and diesel fuels emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. Particulate matter from mobile sources is largely the result of incomplete or inefficient combustion in the form of organic aerosol and carbon soot. In addition to the direct emissions of pollutants, dilute exhaust undergoes oxidation in the atmosphere. This oxidation chemistry can lead to the production of secondary pollutants, such as ozone and secondary particulate matter. We investigate the contributions of primary and secondary pollution with ambient measurements, laboratory experiments, source testing of pollution sources, and atmospheric models. This multi-pronged and multi-disciplinary approach allows for a holistic view of pollutant emissions and transformations in the atmosphere, and their impacts on human health.