Fields of research

The staff members of the chair for Air Chemistry and Air Pollution Control of the BTU Cottbus with its Berlin branch, the working group Atmospheric Chemistry are working since more than 20 years on the research field of a changing chemical composition of the lower atmosphere and the ongoing air chemical processes (gas, particle and droplet phase). Beside academic questions always the aspect of "intelligent" air pollution abatement was within the focus and motivation of our work. While in the 1990s our main research interest was more in the study of the air chemical processes we shifted within the last five years our focus more on the development of selected technologies for air pollution control. This change was possible due to our long-term experiences in the treatment of complex chemical multiphase systems. Constant motivation of our research remains the climate change and its control by using a sustainable chemistry.   

The Working Group Atmospheric Chemistry, together with its head, Detlev Möller, has a long tradition on the campus Adlershof. Professor Möller begun his studies in air chemistry in 1975 within a research group Environmental Management belong the former Academy of Sciences of the GDR (ADW). The chair for Air Chemistry and Air Pollution Control of the BTU Cottbus was established in 1994 based on the Berlin branch for Air Chemistry belong the former Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research. The latter institute had its origin in the department for Atmospheric Chemistry belong the Heinrich Hertz Institute for Atmospheric Research and Geomagnetism of the AdW.

Research topics and key competence

The research activities of the group based mainly on

  • modelling (theoretical approach) using numerical simulations,
  • long-term measurements (precipitation chemistry station Seehausen/Altmark 1982-2002 and cloud chemistry station Mt. Brocken/Harz 1992 - 2010),
  • measurement campaigns focussing on special questions at different locations (cloud and fog chemistry, ozone chemistry, chemistry of nitrogen oxides, gas-to-particle interaction),
  • laboratory studies on air pollution control (photo-catalysis, CCS technologies) as well
  • conception studies on the solar era (CCC technology: carbon capture and cycling).

Between 1992 and 2008 we took part at more than 30 large measurement campaigns in Germany and other European countries; we participated at all atmospheric research programmes of the Federal Research Ministry BMFT/BMBF (SANA, TFS, AFO2000). Additional research projects have been funded by the European Community EU (6), the German Research Foundation DFG (6), Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt  DBU (4) and others, mainly from industry. Our competence is characterized with the following areas:

  • multiphase chemistry, i.e. phase transfer processes and chemical reactions in solid-aqueous-gaseous systems (modelling, simulation, field experiments),
  • cloud chemistry (field experiments and monitoring),
  • dynamic of photooxidants (esp. ozone, hydrogen peroxide, nitrogen oxides),
  • precipitation chemistry (field experiments and monitoring),
  • atmospheric aerosol (PM and dust pollution),
  • biogeochemical cycling and interactions, esp. sulphur, nitrogen and chlorine (theoretical studies and field experiments).

With our step-wise increased focus on industrial applications of our air chemistry experiences we try to develop (conceptions and on laboratory scale) sustainable technologies. One direction 

is the air and water cleaning (so-called AOT: advanced oxidation technologies) by heterogeneous photo-catalysis on air-liquid interfaces using ozone amplified OH radical yield (fall film 

reactor). Another direction is going to a more efficient desorption of CO2 using ultrasonic stimulation within the carbon capture technology for application in flue gases but also biogas and other process gases. For both technologies there are patents available.

BTU "Air Chemistry Group" - Field Campaigns and Measurements

lfdyearcampaignwherespecies measurementfunding
11990BIATEXBavarian forest (D)NH3/NH42+ (denuder)MPI
21990ACE/EUROTRACTaunus (D)cloud water samplingZUF
31991SANAMt. Brocken/ Harz (D)SO2, O3, NOx, cloud chemistryBMfT
4, 5, 61992- 2006BROCCMON and SANA (until 1995)Mt. Brocken/ Harz (D)cloud chemical climatology: LWC, meteorology, cloud heigh, chemistryBMfT (until 1995), BTU
71993GCE/EUROTRACMt. Great Dun Fell (UK)NO, NO2, SO2, H2O2, O3, cloud water chemistryBMfT and FhG
8, 91993, 1994Photosmog (1) and (2)Saxonia-Anhalt (D)NO, NO2, SO2, H2O2, O3MWFK
101994BROCHEXMt. Brocken/ Harz (D)NO, NO2, SO2, O3, cloud water chemistry at different levels with various collectorsFhG
11, 121995, 1996EASE (1) and (2)Mt. Srenica/ Krkonose (PL)H2O2, cloud water chemistry (together with Imperial College London and TU Wroclaw)EU and BTU
131996- 2001wet depositionSeehausen (D)precipitation chemistry monitoring (1982-1995 by the FCT Leipzig/ IFT Leipzig)BTU
141997urban smogAthen (GR)O3 (Lidar)BTU
151997SO2 scavengingFrohnauer Tower (D)SO2, H2O2, O3, rain water chemistryDFG
16, 171996 1998flue gasJänschwalde power station (D)droplet characteristicsVEAG
181997flue gasBoxberg power station (D)droplet characteristicsVEAG
191998BERLIOZBerlin-Brandenburg (D)NO, NO2, NOy, SO2, H2O2, O3 (incl. Lidar), VOCBMBF
20, 21, 221998, 1999, 2000AFO-cloud (1), (2) and (3)Mt. Brocken/ Harz (D)NO, NO2, NOy, HNO2, HNO3, SO2, H2O2, O3, aerosol, cloud water chem. (together with IfT Leipzig and FhI Hannover)BMBF
231999summer smogParis (F)O3 (Lidar)INERIS
241999OLAKBerlin (D)O3 (Lidar) IntercomparisonBMBF
252000INTERCOMPMelpitz (D)HNO2, HNO3, PM2,5BTU
262000Antifog (1)Drewitz (D)Fog dissipation by dry ice blastingBTU
272000Antifog (2)Hoffolding (D)Fog dissipation by dry ice blastingBTU
282001- 2002H2O2Berlin-Adlershof (D)H2O2 gas phase/rainwater, SO2, O3, precipipitation chemistryDFG
292001NITROCATRome (I)NO, NO2, NOy, HNO2, HNO3, NO2-, NO3-, O3EU
302001ESCOMPTÈMarseille (F)NO, NO2, NOy, HNO2, HNO3, NO2-, NO3-, SO2,  O3, VOC, aerosol, O3 (Lidar)BMBF
31, 322001, 2002FEBUKO (1) and (2)Schmücke Mt. (D)NO, NO2, NOy, HNO2, HNO3, O3, cloud water chem., HULIS, aerosol chem.BMBF
332002HOVARTFrohnauer Turm (D)PM10, O3 verticalBMBF
342002- 2003PM10Berlin (D)PM10 and chemical composition (ions, heavy metals)Berlin-Senat
352003INTERREGStraßburg (F)NO, NOx, NOy, HNO2, HNO3, NO2-, NO3-    EUEU
362004SALSA_1Hohenpeißenberg (D)HNO2/NO2-,HNO3/NO3-DFG
372005SALSA_1Hohenpeißenberg (D)HNO2/NO2-,HNO3/NO3-DFG
382006Chlorensee_1Melpitz (D)HCL, HNO2, HNO3, particulates, rainwater
392007flue gasStaudinger power station (D)droplets, particulatesEON
402008Chlorensee_2Mace Head (IR)HCL, HNO2, HNO3, particulates, rainwaterDFG
412010flue gasStaudinger power station (D)HCL, HF, HNO2, HNO3, particulatesEON
422011flue gasJänschwalde power station (D)HCL, HF, HNO2, HNO3, particulatesVattenfall