This grant funds a project led by Assistant Professor Marina Vance of the University of Colorado, Boulder, in collaboration with Associate Professor Delphine Farmer of Colorado State University to initiate the development of a data infrastructure for the field of indoor chemistry through an interdisciplinary collaborative field experiment named “House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry” (HOMEChem). The HOMEChem experiment will take place at a test house at the University of Texas at Austin in the summer of 2018, where researchers from 9 universities will aim to identify the most important factors controlling chemistry in indoor environments. Teams from each of these nine universities will make a wide range of measurements of the test house, including building and ventilation metrics; environmental parameters; spectral radiance and photolysis rates; aerosol concentrations and size distributions; aerosol composition; and the presence or absence of elemental and oxidized carbon, gas and particle phase organics, nitrogen oxides, ozone, nitrous acid, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane. Many of these factors will be the subject of multiple measurements by more than one instrument, allowing comparison of instruments and collection methodologies. In addition, Vance and Farmer will conduct controlled experiments regarding cooking and cleaning, so see how these common household activities affect the chemistry that takes place inside the house.
The HOMEChem experiment promises not only to result in new knowledge about indoor chemistry, but to surface important issues regarding shared data and metadata needs among indoor chemists and to build community as the various research teams work together to execute the experiment and interpret their joint findings. Research results will be shared through at least eight publications and twenty presentations at high-profile sessions and plenaries at national and international meetings.