Matching Items (21)

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Organic composition and source apportionment of fine aerosol at Monterrey, Mexico, based on organic markers

Description

Primary emissions from anthropogenic and biogenic sources as well as secondary formation are responsible for the pollution levels of ambient air in major urban areas. These sources release fine particles

Primary emissions from anthropogenic and biogenic sources as well as secondary formation are responsible for the pollution levels of ambient air in major urban areas. These sources release fine particles into the air that negatively impact human health and the environment. Organic molecular markers, which are compounds that are unique to specific PM[subscript 2.5] sources, can be utilized to identify the major emission sources in urban areas. In this study, 43 representative PM[subscript 2.5] samples, for both daytime and nighttime periods, were built from individual samples collected in an urban site of the Monterrey metropolitan area (MMA) during the spring and fall of 2011 and 2012. The samples were analyzed for organic carbon, elemental carbon, and organic molecular markers. Several diagnostic tools were employed for the preliminary identification of emission sources. Organic compounds for eight compound classes were quantified. The n-alkanoic acids were the most abundant, followed by n-alkanes, wood smoke markers, and levoglucosan/alkenoic acids. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and hopanes were less abundant. The carbon preference index (0.7–2.6) for n-alkanes indicates a major contribution of anthropogenic and mixed sources during the fall and the spring, respectively. Hopanes levels confirmed the contribution from gasoline and diesel engines. In addition, the contribution of gasoline and diesel vehicle exhaust was confirmed and identified by the PAH concentrations in PM[subscript 2.5]. Diagnostic ratios of PAHs showed emissions from burning coal, wood, biomass, and other fossil fuels. The total PAHs and elemental carbon were correlated (r[superscript 2] =  0.39–0.70) across the monitoring periods, reinforcing that motor vehicles are the major contributors of PAHs. Cholesterol levels remained constant during the spring and fall, showing evidence of the contribution of meat-cooking operations, while the isolated concentrations of levoglucosan suggested occasional biomass burning events. Finally, source attribution results obtained using the CMB (chemical mass balance) model indicate that emissions from motor vehicle exhausts are the most important, accounting for the 64 % of the PM[subscript 2.5], followed by meat-cooking operations with 31 % The vegetative detritus and biomass burning had the smallest contribution (2.2 % of the PM[subscript 2.5]). To our knowledge, this is only the second study to explore the organic composition and source apportionment of fine organic aerosol based on molecular markers in Mexico and the first for the MMA. Particularly molecular marker were quantified by solvent extraction with dichloromethane, derivatization, and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC/MS).

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  • 2016-01-26

Streamlining Early Stage Photovoltaic Electrical Subcontracting Scope and Pricing

Description

This paper introduces an excel tool created to improve the accuracy of electrical subcontracting prices for solar photovoltaic energy systems while also minimizing the time needed to create these price

This paper introduces an excel tool created to improve the accuracy of electrical subcontracting prices for solar photovoltaic energy systems while also minimizing the time needed to create these price estimations. The need for improved precision, specifically during the early stages of a project, is examined and the paper also goes into detail about the components and pricing method that are incorporated into the excel tool. Lastly, the results of the price estimation tool are compared to real bids and recommendations are made for improvement to the tool.

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  • 2018-05

Impact of Misting Systems on Local Air Quality

Description

-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

-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

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Developing a Tool to Identify Locations for Renewable Energy Potential

Description

Shifting to renewable energy from fossil fuels is not occurring rapidly. Determining where to locate renewable power plants could help expedite development. The project discussed here uses a GIS ranking

Shifting to renewable energy from fossil fuels is not occurring rapidly. Determining where to locate renewable power plants could help expedite development. The project discussed here uses a GIS ranking tool to determine potential locations for solar and wind power plants in Arizona. Criteria include renewable input (irradiance/wind class), topographic slope, and distance from transmission lines. These are ranked and summed to determine areas with the most potential. The resulting outputs show that there is much more potential land for solar development than wind development. Further analysis in this paper will focus solely on solar due to wind's lower potential. Land sensitivity and ownership are used to assess the feasibility of development. There are many groupings of highly ranked land across the state, but the largest stretch of land runs from outside of Marana (south-central Arizona) northwest to about 60 miles west of Wickenburg (central-west). This regions is mainly on BLM, state, and privately owned land. Some of this land is considered sensitive, but non-sensitive areas with high potential are frequent throughout. Renewable potential in other states could be determined using this tool as well. Variables could be weighted or added depending on each area's need.

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  • 2013-05

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Scaling CdTe Solar: Life Cycle Assessment of Te Byproducts from Cu Extraction

Description

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly identified as the proper tool/framework for performing cradle to grave analysis of a product, technology, or supply chain. LCA proceeds by comparing the materials

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly identified as the proper tool/framework for performing cradle to grave analysis of a product, technology, or supply chain. LCA proceeds by comparing the materials and energy needed for materials extraction, benefaction, and end-of-life management, in addition to the actual lifetime of the product. This type of analysis is commonly used to evaluate forms of renewable energy to ensure that we don't harm the environment in the name of saving it. For instance, LCA for photovoltaic (PV) technologies can be used to evaluate the environmental impacts. CdTe thin film solar cells rely on cadmium and tellurium metals which are produced as by-products in the refining of zinc and copper ore, respectively. In order to understand the environmental burdens of tellurium, it is useful to explore the extraction and refining process of copper. Copper can be refined using either a hydrometallurgical or pyrometallurgical process. I conducted a comparison of these two methods to determine the environmental impacts, the chemical reactions which take place, the energy requirements, and the extraction costs of each. I then looked into the extraction of tellurium from anode slime produced in the pyrometallurgical process and determined the energy requirements. I connected this to the production of CdTe and the power produced from a CdTe module, and analyzed the production cost of CdTe modules under increasing tellurium prices. It was concluded that tellurium production will be limited by increasing hydrometallurgical extraction of copper. Additionally, tellurium scarcity will not provide a physical constraint to CdTe commercial expansion; however it could affect the price reduction goals.

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  • 2013-05

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Evaluation of vapor intrusion pathway assessment through long-term monitoring studies

Description

Vapor intrusion (VI) pathway assessment often involves the collection and analysis of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air data. There is temporal variability in these data, but little is

Vapor intrusion (VI) pathway assessment often involves the collection and analysis of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air data. There is temporal variability in these data, but little is understood about the characteristics of that variability and how it influences pathway assessment decision-making. This research included the first-ever collection of a long-term high-frequency indoor air data set at a house with VI impacts overlying a dilute chlorinated solvent groundwater plume. It also included periodic synoptic snapshots of groundwater and soil gas data and high-frequency monitoring of building conditions and environmental factors. Indoor air trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations varied over three orders-of-magnitude under natural conditions, with the highest daily VI activity during fall, winter, and spring months. These data were used to simulate outcomes from common sampling strategies, with the result being that there was a high probability (up to 100%) of false-negative decisions and poor characterization of long-term exposure. Temporal and spatial variability in subsurface data were shown to increase as the sampling point moves from source depth to ground surface, with variability of an order-of-magnitude or more for sub-slab soil gas. It was observed that indoor vapor sources can cause subsurface vapor clouds and that it can take days to weeks for soil gas plumes created by indoor sources to dissipate following indoor source removal. A long-term controlled pressure method (CPM) test was conducted to assess its utility as an alternate approach for VI pathway assessment. Indoor air concentrations were similar to maximum concentrations under natural conditions (9.3 μg/m3 average vs. 13 μg/m3 for 24 h TCE data) with little temporal variability. A key outcome was that there were no occurrences of false-negative results. Results suggest that CPM tests can produce worst-case exposure conditions at any time of the year. The results of these studies highlight the limitations of current VI pathway assessment approaches and demonstrate the need for robust alternate diagnostic tools, such as CPM, that lead to greater confidence in data interpretation and decision-making.

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  • 2015

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Processing of trace metals in atmospheric particulate matter

Description

Particulate trace metals can enter the atmosphere as mineral dust, sea spray, anthropogenic emissions, biomass burning, etc. Once in the atmosphere they can undergo a variety of transformations including aqueous

Particulate trace metals can enter the atmosphere as mineral dust, sea spray, anthropogenic emissions, biomass burning, etc. Once in the atmosphere they can undergo a variety of transformations including aqueous phase (cloud) processing, photochemical reactions, interact with gases, and ultimately deposit. Metals in aerosols are of particular interest because of their natural and anthropogenic sources as well as their effects on local (human health) and global (climate change) scales. This work investigates the metal component of atmospheric particles and how it changes during physical and chemical processes at local, regional and global scales, through laboratory and field studies. In the first part of this work, the impact of local dust storms (haboobs) on ambient metal concentrations and speciation is investigated in Tempe, AZ. It was found that metal concentrations substantially increase (> 10 times) during these events before returning to pre-storm levels. In a second part of this work, the impact of fog processing on metal concentrations, solubility and speciation is examined through field observations in California’s Central Valley. The observations show that fog processing has a profound effect on local metal concentrations but the trends are not consistent between sites or even between events, indicating complex processes that need further investigation. For example, fogs have an effect on scavenging and solubility of iron in Davis, while in Fresno soluble iron content is indicative of the source of the aerosol. The last part of the thesis investigates the role of particle size on the solubilization of iron from mineral dust aerosols during global atmospheric transport through laboratory experiments. The experiments showed that mineralogy and pH have the greatest effect on iron solubility in atmospheric aerosols in general while particle size and photochemistry impact mainly the solubility of iron oxides.

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  • 2015

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Tracking chemical indicators of public health in the urban water environment

Description

This dissertation focuses on the application of urban metabolism metrology (UMM) to process streams of the natural and built water environment to gauge public health concerning exposure to carcinogenic N-nitrosamines

This dissertation focuses on the application of urban metabolism metrology (UMM) to process streams of the natural and built water environment to gauge public health concerning exposure to carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and abuse of narcotics. A survey of sources of exposure to N-nitrosamines in the U.S. population identified contaminated food products (1,900 ± 380 ng/day) as important drivers of attributable cancer risk (Chapter 2). Freshwater sediments in the proximity of U.S. municipal wastewater treatment plants were shown for the first time to harbor carcinogenic N-nitrosamine congeners, including N-nitrosodibutylamine (0.2-3.3 ng/g dw), N-nitrosodiphenylamine (0.2-4.7 ng/g dw), and N-nitrosopyrrolidine (3.4-19.6 ng/g dw) were, with treated wastewater discharge representing one potential factor contributing to the observed contamination (p=0.42) (Chapter 3). Opioid abuse rates in two small midwestern communities were estimated through the application of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). Average concentrations of opioids (City 1; City 2) were highest for morphine (713 ± 38, 306 ± 29 ng/L) and varied by for the remainder of the screened analytes. Furthermore, concentrations of the powerful opioid fentanyl (1.7 ± 0.2, 1.0 ± 0.5 ng/L) in wastewater were reported for the first time in the literature for the U.S. (Chapter 4). To gauge narcotic consumption within college-aged adults the WBE process used in Chapter 4 was applied to wastewater collected from a large university in the Southwestern U.S. Estimated narcotics consumption, in units of mg/day/1,000 persons showed the following rank order: cocaine (470 ± 42), heroin (474 ± 32), amphetamine (302 ± 14) and methylphenidate (236 ± 28). Most parental drugs and their respective metabolites showed detection frequencies in campus wastewater of 80% or more, with the notable exception of fentanyl, norfentanyl, buprenorphine, and norbuprenorphine. Estimated consumption of all narcotics, aside from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication, were higher than values reported in previous U.S. WBE studies for U.S. campuses (Chapter 5). The analyses presented here have identified variation in narcotic consumption habits across different U.S. communities, which can be gauged through UMM. Application of these techniques should be implemented throughout U.S. communities to provide insight into ongoing substance abuse and health issues within a community.

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  • 2018

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Projection of PM2.5, BC, NOx and VOCs from the Future Vehicle Fleet: Impact of Alternative Vehicle Penetration Versus Continual Reductions in Emissions from Traditional Vehicles

Description

Mobile sources emit a number of different gases including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5). As a result, mobile sources are

Mobile sources emit a number of different gases including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5). As a result, mobile sources are major contributors to urban air pollution and can be the dominant source of some local air pollution problems. In general, mobile sources are divided into two categories: on-road mobile sources and non-road mobile sources. In Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department prepares inventories of all local sources [11], [12]. These inventories report that for Maricopa County, on-road mobile sources emit about 23% of total PM2.5 annually, 58% of the total NOx, and 8% of the total VOCs. To understand how future changes how vehicles might impact local air quality, this work focuses on comparing current inventories of PM2.5, black carbon (BC), NOx, and VOCs to what may be expected emissions in future years based on different scenarios of penetration of hybrid gas-electric vehicles (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV) as well as continued reduction in emissions from conventional internal combustion (IC) vehicles. A range of scenarios has been developed as part of this thesis based on literature reports [6], [8], air quality improvement plan documentation [5], projected vehicle sales and registration [3], [4], as well as using EPA’s Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) [9]. Thus, these created scenarios can be used to evaluate what factors will make the most significant difference in improving local air quality through reduced emissions of PM2.5, BC, NOx and VOCs in the future. Specifically, the impact of a greater fraction of cleaner alternative vehicles such as hybrid-electric and electric vehicles will be compared to the impact of continual reductions in emissions from traditional internal combustion vehicles to reducing urban air pollution emissions in Maricopa County.

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  • 2020

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Wind farm characterization and control using coherent Doppler lidar

Description

Wind measurements are fundamental inputs for the evaluation of potential energy yield and performance of wind farms. Three-dimensional scanning coherent Doppler lidar (CDL) may provide a new basis for wind

Wind measurements are fundamental inputs for the evaluation of potential energy yield and performance of wind farms. Three-dimensional scanning coherent Doppler lidar (CDL) may provide a new basis for wind farm site selection, design, and control. In this research, CDL measurements obtained from multiple wind energy developments are analyzed and a novel wind farm control approach has been modeled. The possibility of using lidar measurements to more fully characterize the wind field is discussed, specifically, terrain effects, spatial variation of winds, power density, and the effect of shear at different layers within the rotor swept area. Various vector retrieval methods have been applied to the lidar data, and results are presented on an elevated terrain-following surface at hub height. The vector retrieval estimates are compared with tower measurements, after interpolation to the appropriate level. CDL data is used to estimate the spatial power density at hub height. Since CDL can measure winds at different vertical levels, an approach for estimating wind power density over the wind turbine rotor-swept area is explored. Sample optimized layouts of wind farm using lidar data and global optimization algorithms, accounting for wake interaction effects, have been explored. An approach to evaluate spatial wind speed and direction estimates from a standard nested Coupled Ocean and Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) model and CDL is presented. The magnitude of spatial difference between observations and simulation for wind energy assessment is researched. Diurnal effects and ramp events as estimated by CDL and COAMPS were inter-compared. Novel wind farm control based on incoming winds and direction input from CDL's is developed. Both yaw and pitch control using scanning CDL for efficient wind farm control is analyzed. The wind farm control optimizes power production and reduces loads on wind turbines for various lidar wind speed and direction inputs, accounting for wind farm wake losses and wind speed evolution. Several wind farm control configurations were developed, for enhanced integrability into the electrical grid. Finally, the value proposition of CDL for a wind farm development, based on uncertainty reduction and return of investment is analyzed.

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  • 2013