Contact Dr Valerio Ferracci

Areas of expertise

  • Air
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Environment and Health
  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Monitoring and Environmental Informatics


Valerio is an Academic Fellow in Atmospheric Chemistry. He specialises in atmospheric composition monitoring and modelling and in gas sensor development. His expertise spans all three pillars of atmospheric science, i.e. field observations, numerical modelling and laboratory studies, along with experience in analytical science. 

Valerio joined Cranfield University in 2017. Prior to that, he worked on modelling atmospheric oxidation processes in Cambridge (2016-17), and on developing analytical approaches to gas monitoring at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL, 2012-16). His work on ammonia monitoring while at NPL was incorporated into a European Standard (EN-17346) by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN),

Valerio has an MSci in Chemistry from University College London (UCL, 2008) and a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry, also from UCL (2012). His doctoral studies focused on the kinetics of a number of ozone-depleting halogen oxide radical reactions. His work contributed to reconciling stratospheric ozone loss observations with models and was incorporated in the JPL-NASA kinetic evaluation, used to model atmospheric chemistry in Earth System Models. 

Valerio is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC), Treasurer of the RSC Environmental Chemistry Group and committee member of the Automation and Analytical Management Group.

Current activities

Valerio's research focuses on environmental issues that stem from changes in the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere. He takes advantage of recent advances in sensor technologies to develop atmospheric monitoring towards miniaturisation, allowing multiple autonomous deployments in a variety of relevant locations and unprecedented spatial and temporal coverage of key atmospheric species. His research spans three complementary themes:

Biogenic emissions under global change. In this theme Valerio explores how natural emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) respond to the changing climate. He has developed a portable gas chromatograph (the iDirac) capable of operating autonomously for prolonged periods of time, providing much needed long-term data on VOC abundances (e.g., isoprene and dimethyl sulfide) from a variety of key environments, from temperate and tropical forests to Antarctica. Through this he is able to identify previously overlooked processes, such as the increase in VOC emissions from vegetation under drought stress, which will affect future projections of climate scenarios. 

Atmospheric oxidation processes. This area focuses on developing novel instrumentation for autonomous monitoring of atmospheric oxidation, and therefore pollutant removal (in particular, reactivity towards the principal atmospheric oxidant, the OH radical), as well as developing tools to interpret the measurements and obtain observation-based constraints for use in global climate models. 

Greenhouse gas and air quality monitoring and modelling. Monitoring greenhouse gases (e.g., CO2 and methane) and air quality species (e.g., nitrogen oxides, ozone, particulate matter) is key to understanding emission trends and the efficacy of policy interventions. In collaboration with the University of Cambridge and local authorities, Valerio helped establish the first London-wide network for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions (the NERC funded London GHG project), as well as an air quality network in the Oxford-Cambridge arc area (11 monitoring sites).


Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF)


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers