Research Screening Committee Meeting
February 16, 2001

This page updated June 29, 2005.

State of California


Research Screening Committee Meeting

Jet Propulsion laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Building 180, Room 703C
Pasadena, CA 91109

February 16, 2001
9:30 a.m.



"The Impacts of the Air Pollution Control Industry on the California Economy," RFP 00-313
  In 1982, the Air Resources Board commissioned a study entitled "A Survey of the Air Pollution Industry in California" which, along with other reports, has formed the basis for estimating the size of California's air pollution control (APC) industry. However, none of these studies are comprehensive or current. As a result, there is no consensus available on the industry's size or its economic impact. This study would develop the historical and current economic data needed to accurately assess the APC industry's economic contribution to the state's economy. A comprehensive understanding of the APC industry will assist the ARB and air districts in determining the positive economic impacts of their regulations.


"The Physical and Chemical Characterization of Ultrafine and Nanoparticle Particulate Matter Emissions from Gasoline and Diesel On-Road Motor Vehicles," University of California, Davis, $41,176
  The objective of this on-going research project is to perform roadside experiments to measure and determine the atmospheric fate of ultrafine and nanoparticle particulate matter (PM) emissions from gasoline and diesel
on-road vehicles. Project objectives will be accomplished by performing roadside, upwind, and downwind measurements using a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), by conducting meteorological measurements, and by collecting PM mass samples for subsequent chemical analyses. Recently, the opportunity has been presented to perform particle sampling under laboratory conditions at the ARB Heavy-Duty Vehicle Laboratory in Los Angeles. This augmentation will enhance the existing roadway study and will also provide critical support for an internal ARB project to compare emissions from heavy-duty natural gas vehicles against heavy-duty diesel vehicles. In addition to SMPS measurements, UCD staff will also perform emissions sampling using an Electrical Low Pressure Impactor. Complementary gasoline vehicle exhaust measurements will be conducted at the
Haagen-Smit Laboratory in El Monte, California. The vehicle emissions data collected are expected to offer insights into particle emissions both on roadways and in the laboratory.


"Characterizing the Range of Children's Pollutant Exposures During School Bus Commutes," University of California, Riverside, $449,503
  Children who ride buses to school are potentially exposed to high concentrations of diesel exhaust particles and other vehicle pollutants. The objective of this study is to characterize school bus commute exposures experienced by children while riding on buses, waiting at bus stops, or waiting near idling buses during after-school loading. Measurements will be obtained inside and near buses under a variety of scenarios for commutes involving diesel, gasoline, and alternatively fueled buses. The results of this study will be used by Air Resources Board staff to better estimate children's exposure to diesel exhaust particles and other bus-related pollutants, and to determine what fraction of children's total exposure is attributable to school bus-related activity.


"Heterogeneous NOx Chemistry in Polluted Urban Atmospheres: Implications for the Formation of Particles and Ozone and Control Strategy Development," University of California, Irvine, $200,000
  Nitrogen oxides (NOx) react in the atmosphere to form ozone, particles and other pollutants. The complexity of the nitrogen chemistry occurring in the atmosphere makes it necessary that the effect of NOx control strategies be determined with air quality models. For example, modeling studies predict that, under certain conditions, decreased emissions of NOx can lead to increases in ozone level. Thus, decreases in ambient NOx are proposed as a possible explanation for the "weekend ozone effect". However, the accuracy of the results of the air quality modeling studies depends critically on an accurate knowledge of the chemistry occurring in the atmosphere and there is substantial uncertainty of heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry.
  Until recently it was assumed that the end product of tropospheric NOx was nitric acid. However, recent work has shown that nitric acid on a surface can react with NO to regenerate NO2 which can then form ozone and particulate nitrate. This finding may have very serious implications for the effectiveness of control strategies for both ozone and particulate matter (PM). Preliminary modeling studies suggest that this reaction may increase the formation of particulate nitrate and that existing models underestimate the benefits of NOx controls. This proposal will investigate some key issues regarding heterogeneous nitrogen chemistry such as, whether ammonium nitrate in particles undergoes a similar reaction, and what is the effect of sulfuric acid and whether nitrous acid also reacts with surface nitric acid. The data will then be used to generate a comprehensive chemical mechanism for the heterogeneous reactions of NOx in water which will be incorporated into a box model. The information gained in this project will improve our understanding of the reactions critical to accurately predicting the effect of NOx controls on PM and ozone levels.


"Developing a Gas-Phase Chlorine Inventory for the South Coast Air Basin of California," University of California, Irvine, $15,000
  A variety of laboratory, field, and modeling studies strongly suggest that there are heterogeneous reactions of sea salt particles which generate photochemically active halogen species such as chlorine radicals in marine areas. There is also evidence that chlorine radicals can take part in the tropospheric gas-phase chemical reactions that lead to the formation or destruction of ozone. Although gas-phase reaction mechanisms involving chlorine radicals are available, a chlorine emissions inventory does not exist.
  The investigators from the University of California, Irvine, will identify the main sources of gas-phase chorine. They will also develop a spatially and temporally resolved hourly gridded chlorine gas emissions inventory suitable for use in a three-dimensional ozone air quality model for the South Coast Air Basin. Combining the most recent knowledge of gas-phase and aqueous-phase chemistry with a state-of-the-science wind-driven sea-salt emissions model will generate the chlorine emissions inventory. Results from this study will greatly improve ARB's overall understanding of the processes involved in the formation of photochemical smog in California, in particular the significance of chlorine radicals.


"Collection of Microscale Emissions Activity Data in the South Coast Air Basin," Sonoma Technology, Inc., $106,885
  The primary objective of this contract is to collect activity data associated with air pollutant emissions around five ambient air quality monitoring sites in the South Coast Air Basin. This project will help provide the activity data necessary to better characterize emissions on weekends. Better weekend emission estimates are needed to evaluate the causes of the "ozone weekend effect" in many urban areas. The weekend effect is the tendency for ozone concentrations to be higher on weekends than on weekdays. This has potential implications not only for control strategies but also for proper photochemical modeling for the State Implementation Plan. This project will expand on work conducted by this contractor for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory during the fall of 2000. The data will also be compared with macro-scale activity data that will be collected under work being solicited by RFP 00-313. The data will also be used by staff to evaluate the spatial representativeness of the exposure of the five monitoring sites to anthropogenic emission sources. In addition, the data from one proposed site (redundant from the fall 2000 study) may provide insights into seasonal changes in activity.


"Refinement of Selected Fuel Cycle Emissions Analyses," ARCADIS, $124,215, Contract No. 98-338
  The ARB's Low-Emission Vehicle and Clean Fuels regulations give manufacturers the option of using clean alternative fuels to help their vehicles meet increasingly stringent emissions standards, with less need for control hardware than conventionally fueled vehicles. In 1996, Acurex (subsequently ARCADIS Geraghty & Miller, and now Arthur D. Little, Inc.) evaluated the fuel-cycle emissions of nine vehicle fuels, calculating emissions from four categories of the fuel-cycle process: extraction, production, marketing, and distribution. Oxides of nitrogen, nonmethane organic gases, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and toxics emissions were quantified for each vehicle fuel. Three fuels were estimated to have fuel-cycle emissions close to electric vehicles (EVs): diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas for internal-combustion vehicles, and methanol, which can be used for
fuel-cell-powered vehicles. In this study, the contractor refined the analysisfor these three fuels, and also reassessed the emissions associated with EVs, taking into consideration the new deregulated environment. The study focused on the South Coast Air Basin; the South Coast Air Quality Management District co-funded this study. The emissions data resulting from this study will be used to compare fuel-cycle emissions for these three fuels to the emissions associated with electricity generation for EVs and provide appropriate regulatory credit.


"Microwave Regeneration of Adsorbents and Plasma Conversion of Volatile Organic Compounds," University of California, Davis, $38,054, Contract No. 98-312
  The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of microwave plasma for the destruction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In previous work, UCD studied the regeneration of adsorbent beds through the use of microwaves and gases to purge adsorbed VOCs. In this study, UCD investigated how VOC destruction was affected by various operating conditions. Two VOCs (trichloroethylene and toluene) were tested, and a microwave plasma torch was used to destroy these VOCs in gas streams. The draft final report concludes that the microwave plasma torch is ideally suited for a combined system in which steam-regenerated adsorbent beds are used for the concentration of dilute streams of pollutants. With further development, this system could become a new,
cost-effective VOC control technique.

Research Screening Committee