EN Seminar: Mar 15, 2024

Date: March 15, 2024 12:00 pm (ET)


  • Cora Young
    York University
Cora Young

Speaker: Cora Young, Chemistry, York University

Title: Chlorine chemistry in outdoor and indoor atmospheres

Abstract: Chlorinated chemicals have several impacts on atmospheric chemistry, as they can be greenhouse gases, air toxics, and/or contribute to the formation of chlorine atoms. In this presentation, I will describe new approaches to understanding the sources and fate of chlorinated chemicals outdoors and indoors. The budget of chlorine atoms is governed by gaseous inorganic chlorine (Cly), for which measurements are challenging. Hydrogen chloride (HCl) dominates Cly and is particularly difficult to measure. In the first part of the presentation, I will describe how a new spectroscopic tool for the measurement of HCl can be used to understand HCl sources indoors and outdoors, and how the approach can be applied to understand other aspects of chlorine chemistry, including predictions of chlorine atom formation outdoors and sources of nitryl chloride (ClNO2) indoors. In the second part of the talk, I will describe new approaches to understanding other chlorinated chemicals in the environment, including the first method to measure total chlorine in the gas phase, and a new approach to detect a poorly-understood organic chlorinated acid.

Bio: Dr. Cora Young is a Professor and the Rogers Chair in Chemistry at York University. She received her undergraduate and doctoral training at the University of Toronto and held a postdoctoral fellowship at NOAA. Her research team focuses on the development and use of state-of-the-science analytical techniques to probe chemical mechanisms relevant to environmental chemistry. Cora has received several awards, including the 2022 Chemical Institute of Canada Environment Division Early Career Award, as well as being named to Chemical and Engineering News’ “Talented 12” in 2019. Work from her group has been featured by numerous media outlets, including CBC (Nature of Things, Quirks and Quarks), CTV, and the BBC. Cora serves as an Associate Editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts.