The Benzene and other Toxics Exposure (BEE‐TEX) Study is a field study of exposure to and source attribution of the air toxics: benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes (BTEX), as well as other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) such as formaldehyde and 1,3-butadiene.
Developing Methane Sensors for Leak Detection in Oil and Gas Operations
HARC is working with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to identify inexpensive methane sensors that can be deployed in a variety of oil and gas operations to rapidly identify and facilitate repair of natural gas leaks. This will allow for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an industry that is extremely important to Texas, the U.S. and world energy needs and will be for many decades to come.
The project is lead by Alex Cuclis, Research Scientist in Air Emissions and Monitoring. Alex is working with EDF to identify methane monitors suitable for testing based on their current level of development. The project team will design a lab or field-based testing protocol to detect natural gas emissions at oil and gas facilities. The goal of the project is to find ways to mass produce methane emissions sensors at a low cost so that oil and gas operators will purchase, install and make full use of these analyzers.
HARC's Dr. Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer of HARC developed a microscale 3D Eulerian air quality model for the interpretation of real-time monitoring data collected during the Benzene and other Toxics Exposure (BEE-TEX) field study.
With financial support from the Environmental Defense Fund, Dr. Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer used the HARC microscale air quality model to assess the ozone impacts of oil and gas production facilities in the Eagle Ford Shale.
HARC is developing a detailed particulate matter (PM) 2.5 emissions inventory for Harris County, Texas. PM is a type pollution composed of a complex mixture of extremely small particles. The size of particles is linked to their potential for causing health-related problems.