Advanced engine control strategies and after-treatment control strategies are being developed to meet stringent emissions regulations for large diesel engines.
Measuring Pollutants in Neighborhoods near Petrochemical Facilities
HARC is working to help local communities improve air quality and quality of life. HARC is partnering with the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) to train community members living near petrochemical facilities to take measurements of air toxics using monitoring tools that are typically used by environmental regulatory enforcement agencies.
The project is lead by Alex Cuclis, Research Scientist in Air Emissions and Monitoring. Community members are being trained to use tools such as handheld photoionization detectors (PIDs) which have detection limits of about 3 parts per billion (ppb); Summa Canisters, which can be sent off for a standard air quality analysis known as TO-15 to provide accurate concentrations of specific volatile organic compounds, like benzene and toluene; and particulate matter (PM) 2.5 monitors that are approved by EPA as a Federal Reference Method (FRM).
Each of these tools brings an added level of sophistication and improved accuracy to community air toxics monitoring efforts. HARC’s participation in this project will help to ensure success by making sure that the testing is performed with the appropriate quality assurance and quality controls in place as well as all of the necessary documentation.
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.
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.
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.