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Integration of European Simulation Chambers for Investigating Atmospheric Processes - Part 2

Final Report Summary - EUROCHAMP-2 (Integration of European Simulation Chambers for Investigating Atmospheric Processes - Part 2)

Executive Summary:

The overall activity during the four and a half years of EUROCHAMP-2 was extremely fruitful and in total fulfillment of the project’s objectives.
The infrastructure created during the EUROCHAMP project (2004-2009) was further developed with respect to investigational means and achievement of ground and applied knowledge.
The EUROCHAMP-2 consortium comprised initially of 14 partners from 8 countries, all signees of the Consortium Agreement. In 2012 an associated partner (FR) was accepted. It had no budget allocation but contributed to the RTD and dissemination activities in the project.
The overall management of the project was ensured at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (DE) by the coordinator of the project aided by the project office.
The EUROCHAMP-2 budget was used mainly according to the initial forecast. A consolidated financial report will be provided according to the GA conditions.

The use of available resources was directed toward:
- achievement of ground knowledge in chemistry and physics,
- applied science – development of instruments, methods and methodologies,
- mathematical modelling and software development,
- education and training in various disciplines related to atmospheric chemistry and physics, analytical chemistry and – indirectly – engineering,
- dissemination of the project’s achievements.

An important effort was dedicated toward transnational access activities. Mainly external users from universities and research institutions worldwide benefited from the capabilities of the different installations within the infrastructure. The EUROCHAMP-2 project offered travel support for almost 90 % of users.
The work within the networking and joint research activities was performed according to the initial time schedule with minor delays. Personnel restructuring at beneficiary no. 10, SP, and serious illness of the work package 2 late leader induced these delays.
Per amendment request the EU granted the consortium a no cost extension of eight month to the regular project duration in order to accommodate these and the subsequently changes in the submission of deliverables.
At the termination of the project all activities are finished with respect to the fulfillment of the initial objectives and the achievement of milestones and all deliverables are submitted to the EC.

Project Context and Objectives:
EUROCHAMP-2 Context and Objectives
Although initial advances in the application of large chambers occurred in the United States and Japan, Europe now leads the world in the use of large, highly instrumented chambers for atmospheric model development and evaluation. Smaller chambers that were designed for specific purposes and are operated by experts in their fields excellently supplement the larger chambers. The integration of all these environmental chamber facilities within the framework of the EUROCHAMP-2 project promotes the retention of Europe's international position of excellence in this area and is unique in its kind worldwide.
The fundamental objective of the project is the further integration of existing European research facilities to a grid of reaction chambers in a continuation of the EUROCHAMP project. These facilities were created to study the impact of atmospheric processes e.g. on regional photochemistry, global change, as well as cultural heritage and human health effects under as realistic conditions as possible.
The mobilisation of a large number of stakeholders dealing with environmental chamber techniques provides an infrastructure to the research community at a European level that offers maximum support for a broad community of researchers from different disciplines. The EUROCHAMP-2 project fosters the structuring effect of atmospheric chemistry activities performed in European environmental chambers within EUROCHAMP, since it offers the full availability of corresponding facilities for the whole European scientific community.
The structure of the EUROCHAMP projects’ work plan was very successful and led to an improved knowledge in atmospheric chemistry, the development of updated and/or new models for describing atmospheric chemical/physical processes and the development of novel analytical instrumentation for atmospheric gaseous species and particles and which are at the forefront of worldwide research in this field.

With respect to the project objectives mentioned above, three network activities, two joint research activities and a transnational access activity were formulated and cross-linked in the EUROCHAMP-2 project:
- Management: WP1
- Networking activities N1, N2 and N3: WP2, WP3 and WP4
- Joint Research Activity 1: WP5 to WP9
- Joint Research Activity 2: WP10 and WP11
- Transnational Access Activity: WP12

The major objective of the networking activities within the EUROCHAMP-2 project is to foster the effective interdisciplinary collaboration between the community of atmospheric scientists and colleagues from other disciplines that are closely related to it, which was successfully initiated within the EUROCHAMP project.
The networking activities aim at realizing a comprehensive picture of the infrastructure capabilities with respect to i) standardised rules as a method of quality assurance of the raw data analysis of the experiments in each facility, ii) comparability of data produced by research within the infrastructure, iii) access to the information achieved through the joint research activities and iv) dissemination of the information.
Under i) a standardised data protocol for chamber studies was defined in networking activity N1(WP2) in order to make the results of experiments performed in the partners’ facilities transparent and accessible to the scientific community has attracted a great deal of interest from the international scientific community. Efforts were made to establish connections with metrology activities.
The EUROCHAMP infrastructure is nowadays well recognised by colleagues worldwide and has attracted considerable attention, in particular with respect to adding to or using the database for environmental chambers which was continuously developed during EUROCHAMP-2 networking activity N2 (WP3). To maintain its attractiveness, work needed to be directed toward increasing the robustness, sustainability and usability of the database. New tools were to be developed to make it more interactive and also to open the database to data introduction by groups outside the consortium.
For an optimum of integration of all the partners’ facilities to a powerful grid of research instruments, periodical project meetings of all partners have been organised during the projects’ duration. Furthermore, it was planned to organise several larger international conferences / workshops on infrastructure-related topics, e.g. the interaction of tropospheric chemistry with cultural heritage or human health. In order to reach a maximum of success, internationally established experts on the corresponding topics were invited to join these conferences. The results are published in suitable proceedings for dissemination to the scientific community. These activities form the essential elements of the networking activitiy N3 (WP4) - dissemination.

The major objective of the joint research activities within the EUROCHAMP-2 project is the optimisation and further development of the infrastructures' performance. In order to meet these goals, two corresponding research activities are defined in the EUROCHAMP-2 work programme, namely the development and refinement of analytical equipment and the development of chemical and physical modelling techniques.
The development of novel and the refinement of existing analytical devices of environmental chambers in order to successfully detect atmospheric trace species such as VOCs, inorganic trace gases and radicals or to characterise aerosol particles is an essential task to be followed over the whole lifetime of such research facilities. The increasing demands for more comprehensive analytical techniques caused by the more and more complex scientific questions to be answered, requires a continuous improvement of the technical possibilities of a chamber. Accordingly, the work program includes a number of research activities focused on this topic, JRA1: WP5 – WP7.
Besides the optimisation of existing devices, a number of analytical devices needed to be completely redesigned or used for the first time in conjunction with an environmental chamber. It was needed to develop highly specific equipment in a mobile form, so that such instruments may be transported to a chamber of choice and used in selected experiments independent of location. This philosophy does strengthen the idea of a real grid of environmental chambers forming a powerful infrastructure. In addition, the instruments to be developed (WP5 and WP6) would be of great use for future field campaigns for which sophisticated, improved analytical instrumentation is urgently required and, therefore, progress significantly beyond the current state of the art.
One of the key processes controlling the influence of aerosol particles on the climate system is their ability to take up water. Knowledge with respect to the physical and chemical processes controlling the water uptake of atmospheric aerosol particles and also the modelling of these processes is still scarce. Despite the efforts made in the past, current chambers still lack some key features and possibilities that are urgently needed for further scientific progress.

Therefore, in WP7 the thrust will be the provision of techniques for generating aerosol particles with well-defined physical properties for performing particle ageing, transformation and freezing experiments, and techniques for the characterization of aerosol particles in such experiments concerning their physical and chemical properties of interest.
Formation of SOA (secondary organic aerosols) in the atmosphere – related to adverse health effects, visibility reduction and climate change – is a complex and not fully understood process.
In contrast to field observations, simulation chambers can provide SOA with well-defined origin under well-defined experimental conditions. So they are the appropriate tool to resolve this discrepancy by improving the chemical mechanisms and investigating the components and intermediates responsible for SOA formation and the composition and chemical and physical properties of SOA. Consequently, the project includes a number of new approaches to address these shortcomings in aerosol yields.
The consortium aims, within work package WP8, to provide improved experimental approaches in the design of experiments that will allow experiments to be performed in smog chambers under more representative atmospheric conditions and provide data that will help to close the gap between experimental and model results in field experiments.
Historically, simulation chambers have been primarily designed to link environmental conditions with photo-oxidants production (especially ozone formation) and other ozone-initiated processes. Today, the study of the interferences of urban surfaces on the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere constitutes a very original approach. The use of simulation chamber experiments to assess the chemical impact of massive solid surfaces on air quality is fairly new. Heterogeneous processes on surfaces occur also due to the simple fact that simulation chambers have walls.
The work in WP9 is aimed at the development of methods for the study of surface reactions in chambers. The partners involved in this work package possess different types of facilities, which will allow them to investigate the surface reactions of a wide range of materials and assess their potential to affect ambient and indoor air quality.

The field of chemical modelling (JRA2, WP10 and WP11) is directly coupled to each type of environmental chamber studies (JRA1). The analysis of chamber experiments without any model application is mostly not possible. Accordingly, model activities are urgently necessary and a permanent companion of each experimental task. Models are widely used in atmospheric science, for example for prediction of climate change and in the development of mitigation strategies for air quality. These models rely on parameterisations, for example in the formation of aerosols, or on lumped chemical mechanisms. These models are extensively tested and compared, for example in the ACCENT intercomparison of global climate models. Less attention has been paid, though, to the need to base these parameterisations and mechanisms on sound, evolving laboratory data. Chambers are used to simulate chosen aspects of the atmosphere under carefully controlled conditions and so provide an ideal environment both for the provision of the detailed experimental data, and for the testing of the representations used in such models.
The aim of JRA2 is to provide a modelling environment, which acts as a link between chamber experiments and atmospheric models, through the optimal design of experiments so that they provide a realistic representation of those atmospheric processes under investigation, and through the development and evaluation of parameterisations and mechanisms. The transfer of experimental results into models is non-trivial and improved trans-community approaches are needed and are targeted in JRA2.

Although transnational access activities were not part of the original EUROCHAMP project, the mobilisation of a large number of stakeholders and users dealing with environmental chamber techniques provides an infrastructure to the research community not only at a European level but also worldwide that now offers a maximum support for a broad community of researchers from different disciplines.
Within the EUROCHAMP-2 project the consortium offers transnational access to 14 installations. This activity will promote scientific excellence through the mobility of experts and access of research scientists, in particular new users, to the high quality EUROCHAMP-2 infrastructure. Such users may be engineers or scientists who need support from the infrastructure to conduct research in various fields of atmospheric environmental chemistry.
The call for the EUROCHAMP-2 transnational access activities is be a continuous call, and proposals are accepted at any time from any researcher or research team. Advertising the TNA activity will be done through the EUROCHAMP-2 website and by contacting colleagues in the research community.
Access to the installations is offered free of charge and is granted on the basis of proposals, which are reviewed by the dedicated User Selection Panel.

The selection panel reviews the proposals with respect to the following criteria:
• Originality and scientific value of the proposal
• Interest to the scientific community
• New user
• Training benefit (young researchers)/mobility of expert
Every user access is typically expected to result in a peer reviewed publication and corresponding conference contributions.

The EUROCHAMP-2 project promoted a new structuring effect of atmospheric chemistry activities performed in European environmental chambers, since it offered the full availability of corresponding facilities for the whole European scientific community. The integrated environmental chamber infrastructure within EUROCHAMP significantly contributes to the improvement of the overall structure of the European research area, since it is an attractive opportunity for scientists from different disciplines involved in other infrastructural networks to enhance their research possibilities by finding solutions to questions addressed to overlapping areas between environmental and other interests. In this way, synergies and improved access of researchers to environmental chambers are developed.

Links to other on-going activities in the field such as to the projects EUFAR, IAGOS and the Networks of Excellence ECATS and ACCENT-Plus are already existing either directly through some EUROCHAMP-2 partners participating also in these projects or through the I3NET coordination action, which guarantees a continuous exchange of knowledge between the project coordinators.

Project Results:
The information is contained in the attachment SESAM_GA228335_FINAL_FOREGROUND.pdf

Potential Impact:
The infrastructure created within the EUROCHAMP project provides a powerful tool for researchers and students in the field of atmospheric chemistry.
While not directly related to industry, the EUROCHAMP installations network prepares future skilful specialists.

The dissemination of the acquired knowledge was and is still distributed through by means of the network activities N1, N2 and N3. The EUROCHAMP database is the most visible dissemination tool ( All partners’ effort was focused on its continuous improvement (as a tool), upload of scientific results (as a depository of knowledge), and connection with other similar data bases (exchange of knowledge and increase of infrastructure’s visibility).
The fruitful collaboration between partners yielded in a number of scientific publications, presentations at scientific conferences, PhD and other degree theses. The informaton is provided with the present report in the dissemination tables and attached list of theses for PhD or other degrees.
Details about the scientific events organized within the networking activity N3 and the published results of the work within EUROCHAMP can be found at and

List of Websites:

Details and further information on the project can be obtained from:
Dr. Iulia Patroescu-Klotz (project office):
EUROCHAMP-2 home page: