Laboratory for Air Pollution / Environmental Technology

Our vision is the reduction of anthropogenic air pollutants relevant to climate change, human health, ecosystems and materials. Therefore, our goal is to understand the emissions and the fate of man-made pollutants and greenhouse gases to provide the scientific basis for reducing their impact. Based on excellence in measurement techniques and state-of-the-art atmospheric modeling, we identify and quantify the relevant sources and flows of these pollutants. We focus our activities on compounds relevant to air quality, climate change and their interaction.

To achieve our goal, we pursue the following strategies:

  1. we develop new analytical tools and innovative concepts with the best overall performance to observe greenhouse gases and air pollutants at various spatial and temporal scales;
  2. we exploit and enlarge state-of-the-art model systems to understand major processes relevant for current and future air quality objectives;
  3. we combine long-term continuous observations with model calculations to allocate air pollutants and greenhouse gases to specific sources and source regions, to verify reduction measures, and to detect new compounds at the earliest possible time;
  4. we quantify anthropogenic emissions independently from official inventories with model approaches using ground-based and remote sensing data.


Our research provides the scientific basis for initiating and evaluating technical solutions to reduce anthropogenic emissions and to guide decision makers in the field of environmental politics. We have long-term competence in field measurements of ambient air constituents and we are at the forefront of instrument developments, in particular for isotopic analysis and non-CO2 greenhouse gas detection in ambient air. In addition, we employ and improve advanced dispersion, transport and receptor models to investigate both atmospheric transport and man-made emissions.