Request for Proposals (RFP):
Science for Solutions Research Grant

Opens: November 4, 2019
Closes: January 17, 2020

The Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) is seeking proposals for air quality research projects that help achieve UDAQ’s goals and priorities for the upcoming 2021 fiscal year (FY). See the following section for a description of 2021 FY goals and priorities. Coinciding with this announcement, UDAQ expects to award nearly $500,000 in State funding. The number of grants awarded is approximately 3 – 8, subject to the availability of funds, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations. Funding is ongoing and UDAQ anticipates providing this opportunity on an annual basis.

Science for Solutions Research Grant Webinar

UDAQ hosted a short webinar on Thursday November 21, 2019 (4:30 – 5 PM) to go over key parts of the RFP and highlight differences from last year. View slides from the presentation (758 KB).

Fiscal Year 2021 Goals and Priorities

Research topics that UDAQ is seeking to fund are listed below. Research goals and priorities could change on a year-to-year basis. Only those proposals targeting one or more of the following topics will be considered for award.

Air Quality Modeling Improvements

Air quality models remain important tools for guiding policy makers in preparing State Implementation Plans to demonstrate compliance with federal air quality standards. Modeling enables UDAQ to demonstrate and quantify the effectiveness of future emission control strategies. Better characterization of the complex meteorological features associated with cold air pool as well as spring- and summer-time episodes is needed. Improved representation of the chemical mechanisms as well as physical processes relevant to ozone and PM2.5 photochemistry are also needed.

  • Numerical representation of complex and missing chemical mechanisms
  • Surface land use characterization and topography
  • Urban canopy models and anthropogenic heat fluxes
  • Albedo and snow cover representation
  • Snow surface chemistry
  • Cloud cover representation
  • Nitric acid and organics deposition
  • Exchange and transport processes
  • Aerosol-radiation-cloud interactions
  • Top-down turbulent erosion

Emissions Inventory Improvements

Recent studies along the Wasatch Front and Uinta Basin highlighted discrepancies between inventory estimates and measurements of several key precursors to the formation of ozone and PM2.5. These include carbonyls, hydrocarbons, alcohols, halogens, etc. Reconciling differences between inventory estimates and observations are needed for improved modeling of ozone and PM2.5. Information on the sources, spatial and temporal distribution of chemical precursors is also needed. This entails a better representation of:

Uinta Basin

  • Source-specific organic compounds emission rate estimates
  • Source-specific organic compounds speciation profiles
  • Fugitive and missing emission sources (e.g. abandoned wells, gathering pipelines, pigging, water tank emissions)
  • NOx emissions
  • Methane emissions and ozone formation impacts
  • Activity data
  • Model of stochastic emissions (e.g. “super-emitters”, equipment malfunction)

Wasatch Front

  • Halogens emission rate estimates
  • Speciated volatile organic compounds
  • Source-specific emission rate estimates for volatile organic compounds
  • Emissions from cold-starting engines and catalytic technologies

Air Exchange Processes and Pollutants Mass Transport

Air mass exchanges are important meteorological processes affecting the transport of air pollutants. Air exchanges across the Great Salt Lake, different Utah valleys and canyons as well as between the polluted boundary layer and free troposphere affect the transport and mixing of key precursors to PM2.5 during winter. Regional meteorological processes also lead to long-range transport and stratospheric intrusion of ozone. A more detailed characterization of these processes and their impact on air pollutants chemistry and levels is needed.

  • Lake-land interaction
  • Canyon flows
  • Inter-basin exchange
  • Air pollutants mass transport estimates
  • Oxidants exchange between cold air pool and free troposphere
  • Long-range transport and stratospheric intrusion of ozone and its precursors

PM2.5 Formation and Precursor Gasses

To better inform air pollution control strategies in northern Utah, it is necessary to understand the complex chemical processes that contribute to secondary PM2.5 formation. Secondary PM2.5 accounts for over 50% of total PM2.5 during winter-time air pollution episodes. It is produced from complex atmospheric chemistry that involves several different gaseous compounds. UDAQ would like to better understand and quantify the sources of compounds contributing to winter-time air pollution along the Wasatch Front and Cache Valley. Information on their spatial, temporal, and vertical distribution as well as mass emission and photolysis rates are also needed. Compounds and parameters of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Halogens
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Oxidized nitrogen compounds
  • Atmospheric radicals
  • Ammonia
  • Photolysis rates

PM2.5 Chemical Composition and Sources

Aerosol chloride plays an important role in winter-time PM2.5 formation. In the presence of excess ammonia, hydrochloric acid will partition to aerosol particles forming ammonium chloride. Particulate chloride can also contribute to the formation of nitryl chloride, which is a source of radicals for daytime photochemical production of ozone and nitrate. Emission sources of aerosol chloride are, however, unclear. Better identification of major chloride sources, including the Great Salt Lake, road salt, dry salt beds and industrial sources is needed. The contribution of organic aerosol sources to PM2.5 is also unclear.

  • Particulate chloride sources
  • Organic aerosol

Source Contributions to Summer-Time Ozone

The Wasatch Front often experiences exceedances of the national ambient air quality standard for ozone during the summer. Regulating locally-formed ozone to reach attainment is complicated by the fact that ozone has a mix of different sources. These include stratospheric transport, wildfires, biogenic emissions as well as international and US anthropogenic sources. To help establish control regulations, further research is needed to determine the contributions from these sources to summer-time surface ozone.

  • Biogenic emissions
  • Anthropogenic emissions
  • International transport
  • Wildfires
  • Stratospheric intrusion
  • Lightning-induced NOx

Submission Instructions

Please download and review the RFP document for eligibility and conditions:

Science for Solutions Research Grant – FY 2021 (155 KB)

  • Proposals must substantially comply with the proposal submission instructions and content requirements set forth in this RFP or else they will not be reviewed.
  • In addition, proposals must be submitted via email to daqresearch@utah.gov on or before the proposal submission deadline. Applicants are responsible for following the submission instructions of this announcement to ensure that their proposal is timely submitted.
  • To submit proposals, send your complete proposal application package via email to daqresearch@utah.gov. The subject heading should include the project title and the applicant (organization) name, and FY2021.
  • Proposals submitted after the submission deadline will be considered late and deemed ineligible without further consideration unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that it was late due to UDAQ mishandling or because of technical problems associated with the state email system used for submission.
  • Applicants affiliated with Universities must submit their proposals through their specific sponsored projects/research office.

Contact Information

Please contact Christopher Pennell (801) 536-4098 for questions relating to this RFP.

Last updated: November 26, 2019 at 2:22 pm
Categories: Air Quality