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Dr. Raina V. Gough


Raina Gough received a B.S. in Chemistry from Montana State University - Bozeman in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. Her graduate research focused on laboratory studies of heterogeneous processes with relevance to atmospheric/planetary science, specifically organic-mineral reactions and water-salt phase transitions. She is currently a National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council postdoctoral associate at NIST where she is studying the effect of oxygenated diesel fuel additives on fuel energy content, distillation curve, CO2 emissions and combustion pathways.

Google Scholar Citation Page

Research Interests:

"Experimental and Theoretical Study of Carbon Emission and Energy Content of Oxygenated Diesel Fuels"

Minimizing the deleterious effects of energy usage (such as pollution, climate change, etc.) will involve multiple approaches including the optimization of parameters of engine design and fuel development. Specifically, decreasing particulate emissions and carbon dioxide (CO2) produced during fuel combustion while optimizing the energy yield would be beneficial from an environmental and economic standpoint. A rapidly increasing fraction of CO2 produced in the U.S. is from diesel combustion; however, these emissions are poorly understood. A complicating factor  is the addition of oxygenated species to diesel fuel to reduce the amount of particulate matter produced. The effect of these oxygenated additives on CO2 emission is not well known, however, and the few existing studies have drawn conflicting conclusions. Additionally, oxygenates affect fuel energy content and the details of this effect are important for future fuel reformulation.  

We are developing a technique to measure the CO2 formation potential of oxygenated fuels, as well as the combustion enthalpy of these mixtures, using the advanced distillation curve method coupled with microcalorimetry. Additionally, theoretical simulations with a chemical kinetics model are being performed to determine how, why and under what conditions oxygenated diesel fuel additives affect net production of CO2, soot and other combustion products.

Selected Publications

Gough, R.V., Turley, J.J., Ferrell, G.R., Cordova, K.E., Wood, S.E., DeHaan, D.O., McKay, C.P., Toon, O.B., Tolbert, M.A., Can rapid loss, high variability of Martian methane be explained by surface H2O2?  Planetary and Space Science, 2011, 59(2-3): p 238 – 246.

Meslin, P-Y, Gough, R.V., Lefevre, F, and Forget, F. Variability of atmospheric methane induced by adsorption in the regolith. Planetary and Space Science, 2011, 59(2-3): p. 247-258.

Gough, R.V., Tolbert, M.A., McKay, C.P. and Toon, O.B., Methane adsorption on a Martian soil analog: An abiogenic explanation for methane variability in the Martian atmosphere, Icarus, 2010, 207(1): 165–174.

Hatch, C.D., R.V. Gough, and M.A. Tolbert, Heterogeneous uptake of the C-1 to C-4 organic acids on a swelling clay mineral. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2007, 7(16): p. 4445-4458.

Hatch, C.D.., Gough, R.V., Toon, O.B. and M.A. Tolbert, Heterogeneous nucleation of nitric acid trihydrate on clay minerals: Relevance to Type Ia polar stratospheric clouds. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2008, 112(2), p. 612-620.

Raina Gough_web

Awards and Honors:

Graduate Research Fellowship, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, CU-Boulder, 2009-2010.


PhD, Chemistry, University of Colorado - Boulder, December 2010 Dissertation: "Laboratory of Heterogeneous Processes Relevant to Mars "Dissertation Advisor: Prof. Margaret A. Tolbert

B.A., Chemistry, with Honors, Montana State University, Bozeman, May 2004


Applied Chemicals and Materials Division
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