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Impact of Misting Systems on Local Air Quality

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-Please adjust the format of the abstract. m-3 should be typed as "m to the minus 3" with the "minus 3" in superscript
-see the additional "abstract.pdf" document for formatting
In arid environments like Phoenix, many professional and residential outdoor

-Please adjust the format of the abstract. m-3 should be typed as "m to the minus 3" with the "minus 3" in superscript
-see the additional "abstract.pdf" document for formatting
In arid environments like Phoenix, many professional and residential outdoor spaces are cooled by the use of misting systems. These systems spray a fine mist of water droplets that cool down the surrounding air through the endothermic evaporation process. When the water droplets evaporate, they leave behind dissolved material that is present in the water, generating ambient particulate matter (PM). Thus, misting systems are a point source of PM. Currently there is no information on their impact on air quality in close proximity to these systems, or on the chemical composition of the particulate matter generated by the evaporating mist.
In this project, PM concentrations are found to increase on average by a factor of 8 from ambient levels in the vicinity of a residential misting system in controlled experiments. PM concentrations in public places that use misting systems are also investigated. The PM10 concentrations in public places ranged from 0.102 ± 0.010 mg m-3 to 1.47 ± 0.15 mg m-3, and PM2.5 ranged from 0.095 ± 0.010 mg m-3 to 0.99 ± 0.10 mg m-3. Air quality index (AQI) values based on these concentrations indicate that these levels of PM range from unhealthy to hazardous in most cases. PM concentrations tend to decrease after remaining relatively constant with increasing distance from misting systems. Chemical data reveal that chloride and magnesium ions may be used as tracers of aerosolized water from misting systems. The average chloride concentration was 71 µg m-3 in misting samples and below the detection limit for Cl- (< 8.2 µg m-3) in ambient samples. The average magnesium concentration was 11.7 µg m-3 in misting samples and 0.23 µg m-3 in ambient samples.

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2020-05

The Effects of an Energy Efficiency Retrofit on Indoor Air Quality

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To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit, indoor air quality and resident health were evaluated at a low‐income senior housing apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, before and after a green energy building renovation. Indoor and outdoor air quality

To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit, indoor air quality and resident health were evaluated at a low‐income senior housing apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, before and after a green energy building renovation. Indoor and outdoor air quality sampling was carried out simultaneously with a questionnaire to characterize personal habits and general health of residents. Measured indoor formaldehyde levels before the building retrofit routinely exceeded reference exposure limits, but in the long‐term follow‐up sampling, indoor formaldehyde decreased for the entire study population by a statistically significant margin. Indoor PM levels were dominated by fine particles and showed a statistically significant decrease in the long‐term follow‐up sampling within certain resident subpopulations (i.e. residents who report smoking and residents who had lived longer at the apartment complex).

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Date Created
2015

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A Study of the Aqueous Phase Processing of Organic Aerosols through Stable Isotope Analysis

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Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has a pronounced effect on our climate, and exposure to PM causes negative health outcomes and elevated mortality rates in urban populations. Reactions that occur in fog can form new secondary organic aerosol material from gas-phase

Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has a pronounced effect on our climate, and exposure to PM causes negative health outcomes and elevated mortality rates in urban populations. Reactions that occur in fog can form new secondary organic aerosol material from gas-phase species or primary organic aerosols. It is important to understand these reactions, as well as how organic material is scavenged and deposited, so that climate and health effects can be fully assessed. Stable carbon isotopes have been used widely in studying gas- and particle-phase atmospheric chemistry. However, the processing of organic matter by fog has not yet been studied, even though stable isotopes can be used to track all aspects of atmospheric processing, from particle formation, particle scavenging, reactions that form secondary organic aerosol material, and particle deposition. Here, carbon isotope analysis is used for the first time to assess the processing of carbonaceous particles by fog.

This work first compares carbon isotope measurements (δ13C) of particulate matter and fog from locations across the globe to assess how different primary aerosol sources are reflected in the atmosphere. Three field campaigns are then discussed that highlight different aspects of PM formation, composition, and processing. In Tempe, AZ, seasonal and size-dependent differences in the δ13C of total carbon and n-alkanes in PM were studied. δ13C was influenced by seasonal trends, including inversion, transport, population density, and photochemical activity. Variations in δ13C among particle size fractions were caused by sources that generate particles in different size modes.

An analysis of PM from urban and suburban sites in northeastern France shows how both fog and rain can cause measurable changes in the δ13C of PM. The δ13C of PM was consistent over time when no weather events occurred, but particles were isotopically depleted by up to 1.1‰ in the presence of fog due to preferential scavenging of larger isotopically enriched particles. Finally, the δ13C of the dissolved organic carbon in fog collected on the coast of Southern California is discussed. Here, temporal depletion of the δ13C of fog by up to 1.2‰ demonstrates its use in observing the scavenging and deposition of organic PM.

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2018