Research Screening Committee Meeting
September 14, 2000

This page updated July 15, 2005.

State of California


Research Screening Committee Meeting

Air Resources Board
First Floor Conference Room
2020 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-0753

September 14, 2000
9:30 a.m.

Requests for Proposals


"The Impacts of the Air Pollution Control Industry on the California Economy," RFP No. 00-7
  In 1982, the Air Resources Board (ARB) 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 contribution to the state's economy. A comprehensive understanding of the APC industry assists the ARB and air districts in determining the positive economic impacts of their regulations.


"Impact of Organic Substrate on NO Oxidation in Biofilters," University of California, Davis, $27,939,
Proposal No. 2458-216
  In the proposed contract, the UCD group would investigate a potential means of reducing the residence time needed to remove nitrogen oxide (NO) from stack gas. This project would build on a previous ARB contract that demonstrated the technical feasibility of removing NO from stack gas through biological oxidation in a
pack-bed biofilter and an upcoming project (funded by CEC) designed to demonstrate the economic feasibility of that process. The object of this study is to explain results from other investigators that indicate feeding glucose to the culture in the biofilter improves the NO removal rate. Presumably, the glucose supports a culture of heterotrophic (organic-using) bacteria in addition to the autotrophic (not organic-using) bacteria typically used in experimental NO biofilters. The UCD group would ascertain the mechanisms by which adding glucose and incorporating heterotorophic bacteria in a biofilter improve NO removal. Understanding these processes would facilitate the development of a new NO-control technology that holds promise for small combustion sources such as distributed generation facilities.


"Spatial Characterization of Air Pollution Exposure in Communities Participating in the Children's Health Study," University of California, Los Angeles, $1,266,752, Proposal No. 2456-215
  This proposed study is ancillary to the Children's Health Study (CHS), a longitudinal study of air pollution's impacts on children's respiratory health, sponsored by the ARB since 1993. The ancillary study will enhance the understanding of spatial variability in air pollution levels within the twelve southern California communities involved in the CHS. The additional information will allow a refinement of the estimates of the magnitude and nature of the effects different air pollutants have on the health of the children participating in the study. This knowledge has direct application to air pollution public health policy, such as health-based Ambient Air Quality Standards.


"Development of Software for Spatially and Temporally Resolving Motor Vehicle Activity Data," University of California, Riverside, $99,849, Contract No. 98-322
  The objective of this project was to develop computer software that would enable ARB staff to efficiently process Global Positioning System (GPS) data collected from on-vehicle dataloggers and plot these data on a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform. Over the past several years, ARB staff has collected gigabytes of GPS data
from on-road cars and trucks. These data, while extremely useful for determining the spatial and temporal activity of motor vehicles, are very time-consuming to process manually. Thus, this project was undertaken to develop a software package to automatically process the GPS data and link it to GIS maps for subsequent analysis. The project consisted of: 1) interpreting the GPS data relative to street networks and translating these data into meaningful route information to construct trip patterns; 2) organizing the digital street maps and vehicle data into the comprehensive database required for compilation of critical statistics for analysis of mobile source emissions; and 3) incorporating the mapping and database management capabilities into a user-friendly automated procedure suitable for analysis of the spatially and temporally resolved GPS-datalogger data. This software will improve the ARB's motor vehicle emissions models by increasing their spatial and temporal resolution capabilities. In addition, it will improve the accuracy of the model's resulting data used as input for air quality modeling.


"Review and Improvement of Methods for Estimating Rates of Photolysis in Photochemical Models," University of California, Berkeley, $182,302, Contract No. 96-335
  Decision-makers rely on results from air quality models, specifically the predicted response in ozone concentrations resulting from changes in emissions of ozone precursors. This information is used to prepare the State Implementation Plan for attaining the federal air quality standard for ozone. Air quality models quantify the processes that control air pollutant concentrations for urban or regional areas. Photolysis, the decomposition (or photodissociation) of chemical compounds by light, is an important step in the series of chemical reactions that form ozone. Specific wavelengths of the radiation in sunlight decompose (photolyze or photodissociate) specific chemical compounds in the atmosphere. Because these compounds and the products of their decomposition participate in the chemical reactions that form ozone, rates of photolysis influence the rate of ozone formation in the atmosphere and, likewise, estimated rates of photolysis help to determine the ozone concentrations predicted by air quality models. The completed work from this study provides a radiative transfer model capable of supplying better estimates of the rates of photolysis and suitable for use with existing regulatory air quality models. Application of this new tool improved the treatment of chemistry in air quality models and thereby improved the quality of information available to decision-makers regarding the way ambient ozone concentrations will change in response to changes in emissions.


"Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities: On-Board Refueling Vapor Recovery Effects," AVES-ATC, $59,990, Contract No. 95-342
  As specified in Health and Safety Code Section 41954, the ARB develops performance standards necessary for the proper functioning of systems designed to control gasoline vapor emissions during gasoline marketing operations. The goal of this study was to assess the impacts that vehicle on-board canister vapor recovery systems have on the vapor recovery systems of gasoline dispensing facilities (GDF). These canisters were introduced into new vehicles in the 1998 model year. On-board canister vapor recovery systems are also referred to as "on-board refueling vapor recovery", or ORVR. They function by adsorbing gasoline vapors from the vehicle's gasoline tank during refueling. In vehicles without ORVR, these vapors would flow into the underground storage tank (UST) at the GDF. If the vehicle's refueling vapors are not available for return to the storage tank, ambient air could be pulled into the UST. The resulting evaporation would then cause increased pressure in the UST, leading to increased gasoline vapor emissions from the UST. The information obtained in this study will be used to improve the certification and test procedures for evaluating various GDF vapor recovery control technologies and to improve the compliance and emissions inventory elements of the vapor recovery programs of ARB and local air districts.


"Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities: Seasonal Impacts," AVES-ATC, $289,671,
Contract No. 95-343
  As specified in Health and Safety Code Section 41954, the ARB develops performance standards necessary for the proper functioning of systems designed for controlling gasoline vapor emissions during gasoline marketing operations. The goal of this study was to assess the impact of seasonal variations in temperature and gasoline composition upon hydrocarbon emissions from vapor recovery systems (VRSs) of gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs). This information will be used to improve the certification and test procedures for evaluating various vapor recovery control technologies and determining VRS efficiency and GDF emissions. Information and techniques developed by this study will also be used to improve the compliance and emissions inventory elements of the vapor recovery programs of the ARB and local air districts.

Research Screening Committee