LAC - Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry
The Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC), established on 1 January 2000, is a laboratory of the Energy and Environment Research Division (ENE) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI).
The mission of the LAC is to create understanding of the processes determining the chemistry and physics of gases and aerosol particles in the atmosphere in order to determine the impact of the energy system on atmospheric composition and the impact of atmospheric composition on air quality, human health, weather and climate change.
The Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC) investigates the impact anthropogenic activities have on fundamental processes in the atmosphere, and with that on air quality, human health, and the climate. A strong focus lies on the links between energy generation and use and its impact on the environment, which have become ever more important since the adaptation of the net-zero strategy in Switzerland. The LAC consists of six interacting groups that operate cutting-edge facilities and instrumentation in the lab and in the field, and run computer models. We are responsible for the long-term observations of atmospheric aerosol at the research station Jungfraujoch and at the Payerne observatory, and run an atmospheric chamber facility at PSI, all embedded in the Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS). We are highly collaborative within PSI, nationally, and internationally.
News & Highlights
For years, studies have proved that fine dust from petrol engines can damage our health. Modern engine technology does not help, either, as researchers from the University of Bern and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) reveal.
In some towns small mopeds cause more air pollution than carsNot cars or trucks, but mopeds with their two-stroke engines are the main source of fine particles and other air contaminants in many towns in Asia, Africa and southern Europe. This is revealed by the study of an international research team headed up by researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. The reasons for the high emissions are the combustion properties in two-stroke engines and the overly lenient emission requirements for small two-wheelers. The study findings are to be published on 13 May 2014 in the journal Nature Communications.
PSI-researcher Martin Gysel receives prestigious European funding (ERC Consolidator Grant) for his studies on the role of soot in cloud formation and global warming.
Clouds consist of cloud droplets that are formed from tiny particles floating in the atmosphere. How these particles develop, however, largely remains a mystery. The formation of particles from amines and sulphuric acid has now been described for the first time à a milestone in atmospheric research.