Prof Christian Pfrang DPhil (Oxon) BSc (FU Berlin)

Prof Christian Pfrang

Prof. Pfrang’s work is mainly focussed on gas-phase and heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry exploring the fate of atmospheric aerosols and their impacts on air quality and climate change. He is also studying reactions of initiators of atmospheric oxidation (in particular ozone and nitrate radicals) with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), e.g. stress-induced plant emissions. Prof. Pfrang is also aiming to link atmospheric chemistry to related research topics in meteorology, environmental & plant sciences to advance the understanding of the urban environment with a recent focus on indoor air quality.

Experimental studies mainly developing levitation, monolayer, thin-film, X-ray & neutron scattering techniques are complemented by computational work predicting the kinetic behaviour of species of atmospheric importance (e.g. co-developing the aerosol models K2–SUB, KM–SUB, KM–GAP and most recently the modelling framework MultilayerPy). Key applied topics include cooking emissions and their fate & health impact, the impact of air pollution on pollination, the ability of indoor plants to improve air quality, the air quality performance of urban greenery and the impacts on vulnerable groups associated with these topics.

Qualifications

DPhil in Physical & Atmospheric Chemistry (University of Oxford); BSc in Chemistry (FU Berlin); Vordiplom in Chemistry (TU Munich); Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Reading)

Biography

Christian Pfrang studied chemistry at the TU Munich, University of Oxford, and FU Berlin before his DPhil in Physical Chemistry with Prof. Richard P. Wayne at the University of Oxford. Following a stint at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship at Royal Holloway University of London, Prof. Pfrang took up a tenure-track RCUK Academic Fellowship at the University of Reading in 2007 before becoming Lecturer and Associate Professor of Physical & Atmospheric Chemistry. In 2016, Prof. Pfrang was a Visiting Professor at the University of Lille (France). In 2018, Prof. Pfrang moved to a Senior Lecturer post in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, where he was promoted to Reader and then Professor of Atmospheric Science while retaining his link to Reading as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Meteorology. Prof. Pfrang’s core expertise is atmospheric chemistry of aerosols, developing novel experimental and modelling tools often involving large-scale facilities, but he also has research interests in indoor air quality, urban greening, and wider implications of air pollution and climate change.

Teaching

LM Air Pollution Control Technology, LM Carbon Management, Air Pollution Chemistry

Postgraduate supervision

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Aerosol Studies, Gas-phase Kinetics and Reaction Products, Indoor Air Quality, Plant-Pollution Interactions and Urban Greening.

Research

Prof. Pfrang’s research is mainly in the area of gas-phase and heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry focussing on the fate of atmospheric aerosols and their impacts on air quality and climate change. He is also studying reactions of initiators of atmospheric oxidation (in particular ozone and nitrate radicals) with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), e.g. stress-induced plant emissions. Experimental studies mainly developing levitation, monolayer, X-ray & neutron scattering techniques are complemented by computational work predicting the kinetic behaviour of species of atmospheric importance (e.g. co-developing the aerosol models K2–SUB, KM–SUB, KM–GAP and most recently the modelling framework MultilayerPy). 

Prof. Pfrang is also aiming to link atmospheric chemistry to related research topics in meteorology, environmental & plant sciences to advance the understanding of the urban environment with a recent focus on indoor air quality.

Other activities

  • Journal Advisory Board: Sci
  • Journal Editor: Atmosphere (Section: Aerosols)
  • Member: NERC Peer Review College
  • Royal Society of Chemistry: CChem
  • Science Council: CSciTeach, CSci
  • European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS): EurChem
  • Previous consultancy work for Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Department for Transport (DfT), STS Instruments & Johnson Matthey
  • Member: alumni associations of St. Hugh’s College (University of Oxford), Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Carlo-Schmid Programme (csp-network) & Bavarian Elite Academy

Publications

Highlight publications

Ryalls, JMW, Langford, B, Mullinger, N, Bromfield, LM, Nemitz, E, Pfrang, C & Girling, RD 2022, 'Anthropogenic air pollutants reduce insect-mediated pollination services', Environmental Pollution, vol. 297, 118847. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.118847

Gubb, C, Blanusa, T, Griffiths, A & Pfrang, C 2022, 'Potted plants can remove the pollutant nitrogen dioxide indoors', Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 479-490. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-022-01171-6

Milsom, A, Lees, A, Squires, A & Pfrang, C 2022, 'MultilayerPy (v1.0): a Python-based framework for building, running and optimising kinetic multi-layer models of aerosols and films', Geoscientific Model Development, vol. 15, no. 18, pp. 7139–7151. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-7139-2022

Recent publications

Article

Touhami, D, Mofikoya, A, Girling, RD, Langford, B, Misztal, PK & Pfrang, C 2024, 'Atmospheric Degradation of Ecologically Important Biogenic Volatiles: Investigating the Ozonolysis of (E)-β-Ocimene, Isomers of α and β-Farnesene, α-Terpinene and 6-Methyl-5-Hepten-2-One, and Their Gas-Phase Products', Journal of Chemical Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-023-01467-6

Airey, MW, Harrison, RG, Aplin, KL, Pfrang, C & McGinness, B 2024, 'Electrical effects on droplet behaviour', Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 2702, no. 1, 012015. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/2702/1/012015

Mills, S, Milsom, A, Pfrang, C, MacKenzie, AR & Pope, F 2023, 'Acoustic levitation of pollen and visualisation of hygroscopic behaviour', Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, vol. 16, no. 20, pp. 4885–4898. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-16-4885-2023, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-16-4885-2023-supplement

Milsom, A, Squires, A, Brasnett, C, Sharratt, W, Seddon, A & Pfrang, C 2023, 'Acoustic levitation with polarising optical microscopy (AL-POM): water uptake in a nanostructured atmospheric aerosol proxy †', Environmental Science: Atmospheres. https://doi.org/10.1039/d3ea00083d

Tang, R & Pfrang, C 2023, 'Indoor particulate matter (PM) from cooking in UK students' studio flats and associated intervention strategies: evaluation of cooking methods, PM concentrations and personal exposures using low-cost sensors', Environmental Science: Atmospheres, vol. 2023, no. 3, pp. 537-551. https://doi.org/10.1039/D2EA00171C

Langford, B, Ryalls, JMW, Mullinger, N, Hayden, P, Nemitz, E, Pfrang, C, Robins, A, Touhami, D, Bromfield, L & Girling, RD 2023, 'Mapping the effects of ozone pollution and mixing on floral odour plumes and their impact on plant-pollinator interactions', Environmental Pollution. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2023.122336

Milsom, A, Squires, A, Ward, A & Pfrang, C 2023, 'Molecular self-organisation in surfactant atmospheric aerosol proxies', Accounts of Chemical Research. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.3c00194

Milsom, A, Qi, S, Mishra, A, Berkemeier, T, Zhang, J & Pfrang, C 2023, 'Technical note: In situ measurements and modelling of the oxidation kinetics in films of a cooking aerosol proxy using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D)', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 23, no. 19, pp. 10835–10843. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-10835-2023

Milsom, A, Squires, A, Quant, I, Terrill, N, Huband, S, Woden, B, Cabrera-Martinez, E & Pfrang, C 2022, 'Exploring the Nanostructures Accessible to an Organic Surfactant Atmospheric Aerosol Proxy', Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol. 126, no. 40, pp. 7331-7341. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.2c04611

Shepherd, RH, King, MD, Rennie, AR, Ward, A, Frey, MM, Brough, N, Eveson, J, Del Vento, S, Milsom, A, Pfrang, C, Skoda, M & Welbourn, R 2022, 'Measurement of gas-phase OH radical oxidation and film thickness of organic films at the air–water interface using material extracted from urban, remote and wood smoke aerosol', Environmental Science: Atmospheres, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 574-590. https://doi.org/10.1039/D2EA00013J

Other chapter contribution

Pfrang, C 2022, 5.1: Where air pollution comes from and where it goes. in D Jenkins (ed.), Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2022: air pollution. Department of Health and Social Care, pp. 225-234. <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1121614/chief-medical-officers-annual-report-2022-air-pollution.pdf>

Other report

Heard, D, Mudge, S, Turner, D, Dimitroulopoulou, S, Hilborne, V, Pfrang, C, Clave, SA, Barron, L, Beevers, S, Birch, H, Brace, S, Carslaw, N, Chatzidiakou, L, Coulston, R, Crump, D, Hansell, A, Mcfiggans, G, Potgieter-Vermaak, S, Rana, C, Wallace, S, Wright, S, Stackhouse, P, Millemaggi, A, Barker, A & Horan, A 2023, Indoor Air Quality: A workshop report on the contribution chemical sciences can make to improving indoor air quality in the UK. Royal Society of Chemistry. <https://www.rsc.org/globalassets/22-new-perspectives/sustainability/indoor-air-quality/indoor-air-quality-report_v2.pdf>

Preprint

Milsom, A, Lees, A, Squires, AM & Pfrang, C 2022 'MultilayerPy (v1.0): a Python-based framework for building, running and optimising kinetic multi-layer models of aerosols and films' European Geosciences Union. https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-143

Review article

Lu, Y, Ferranti, E, Chapman, L & Pfrang, C 2023, 'Assessing urban greenery by harvesting street view data: A review', Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, vol. 83, 127917. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2023.127917

Maung, T, Bishop, J, Holt, E, Turner, A & Pfrang, C 2022, 'Indoor air pollution and the health of vulnerable groups: a systematic review focused on particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their effects on children and people with pre-existing lung disease', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 19, no. 14, 8752. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148752

View all publications in research portal