Recent severe weather events have caused considerable damage to the Houston region.
Mobile Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Eagle Ford Shale
HARC deployed a mobile laboratory equipped with a Geographical Positioning System (GPS), a portable meteorological station, and a Proton Transfer Reaction-Mass Spectrometer (PTR-MS) to perform real time measurements of ambient concentrations of toxic volatile organic compounds in the vicinity of oil and gas sites located on a large private property in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas. The HARC microscale air quality model was then used to attribute observed peaks in ambient concentration to specific emission points, such as flares and loading/unloading facilities, and to quantify the associated emissions. The air quality impacts of the inferred emissions were also assessed.
E. P. Olaguer, M.H. Erickson, A. Wijesinghe, B.S. Neish, J. Williams, and J. Colvin, 2016; “Updated Methods for Assessing the Impacts of Nearby Gas Drilling and Production on Neighborhood Air Quality and Human Health,” J. Air and Waste Management Assoc., vol. 66, 173-183.
Research Associate, Engine and Emissions Control
The oil and gas industry is adopting technologies for cleaner generators and the application of emission controls on diesel engines. Members of the industry are also switching from diesel engines to engines that operate on cleaner natural gas.
Advanced engine control strategies and after-treatment control strategies are being developed to meet stringent emissions regulations for large diesel engines.
In 2008 and 2009, the City of Houston published an Emissions Reduction Plan that has driven much of the City’s current energy efficiency and renewable energy activity.