Properties and behaviour of atmosferic microconstituents
Head: Dr Leo Klasinc
Oxidation capacity of boundary layers atmosphere of the Earth is increasing during the last 100 years and there is no possibility to slow down this increase. Although a lot of present living species use atmospheric oxygen for their energetic needs, reactive oxygen species (ROS: ozone, peroxides, hydroxyl-, superoxide, hydroperoxyl- radicals and singlet oxygen) as well as oxygen itself are harmful and toxic for many parts of those living organisms. The same is true for some nitrogen oxides (e.g. peroxynitrite, peroxynitrate, nitrogen dioxide and nitrate radical) halogen and metal oxides. Their fraction in the atmosphere is increasing due to biomass burning and fossil fuel consumption in furnaces and motor engines.
Harmful effect manifests in oxidation of important biological compounds in which they inactive and/or harmful for organisms (e.g. oxidation of lipids and proteins, breaking of DNA, forest degradation).
In the framework of this project the levels of the above mentioned oxidants will be determined on chosen (urban, industrial and rural) locations and conditions which affect this levels. Laboratory investigations of reactions of different ROS and other oxidants with biological molecules (e.g. cholesterol, unsaturated phospholipids and phytoantioxidants) will be performed.