An international consortium promoting iDirac VOC developments

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: School of Water, Energy and Environment


Atmospheric measurements of isoprene and other volatile organic compounds (VOC) are limited in much of the world. This stems from having few instruments which are robust, can be run autonomously in real-world conditions, and are reasonably low cost. One such instrument is the iDirac, developed with NERC funding, which was designed to meet these criteria and to measure isoprene. In this project, we will establish an international network of research scientists who are committed to expanding the available longer-term observations of isoprene and monoterpenes in undersampled regions and to developing innovative lower-cost alternatives, flux and atmospheric reactivity measurements. Such developments would greatly enhance our understanding of the fluxes of biogenic species and of the oxidative removal of these and many other trace species from the atmosphere. The partners are Alex Guenther (UC Irvine, USA), Yuan Bin (Jinan University, PRC), and Kerneels Jaars (SAEON, RSA) who contribute a unique set of expertise and facilities. The group will work together on three main topics: (i) improving the instrument design for better performance and ease of construction and deployment; (ii) piloting new uses (extending the range of species measured, deploying in new, under-sampled locations, and integrating it into new systems novel applications); (iii) identifying new opportunities for development and deployment. This will be achieved through a mix of on-line collaboration, exchange of expertise and personnel, and use of measurement facilities. The ultimate objective is to kickstart an international group working collegiately on iDirac-related developments, loosely analogous to the grass-roots, collegiate approach used for the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN).


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Description Discussions on development and use of iDirac 
Organisation University of California, Irvine
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided expertise in the construction and operation of iDirac. This was achieved through remote access communication, a visit by Valerio Ferracci to UCI in June 2022 and a meeting with Prof Guenther and a colleague in London in Sept 2022.
Collaborator Contribution They have built their own version of iDirac for use with a relaxed eddy correlation approach to measure isoprene emissions in the Brazilian forests. We hope to bring the approach to our own work in the UK and Africa and to see if it can be extended for use with the DMS measurements.
Impact No impact yet.
Start Year 2021
Description Discussions on development and use of iDirac (2021 - Still Active) 
Organisation North-West University
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise in use and construction of iDirac
Collaborator Contribution Two visits to Cranfield, one for discussions and an extended one to gain experience and make progress in constructing an iDirac for their use. NWU have led a proposal to GCRF to develop this collaboration on understanding atmospheric change in Africa (outcome awaited).
Impact None yet
Start Year 2021