Category: Applied Research Overview

The State of Utah is home to towering mountain ranges, resource-rich basins, sprawling farmland, and vast deserts. These diverse environments are inhabited by equally diverse people, all of whom are affected by the air quality in our state. Understanding the factors that influence the quality of our air is imperative to mitigating the harmful effects of poor air quality on public health. The physical environment which includes atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, and topography, combines with by-products of modern technology and industry such as emissions from vehicles and buildings, to create air pollution problems that are unique to Utah. Research conducted by the Division of Air Quality and its community partners informs decisions made by the Utah State Legislature to improve our air quality.

Current & Recently Completed Studies

Wasatch Front Map

Wasatch Front Ammonia and Chloride Observations (WaFACO)

The objective of this study is to define the spatio-temporal behavior of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) and hydrochloric acid (HCl) along the Wasatch Front across both summer and winter seasons. This objective will be accomplished through three tasks developed in consultation with UDAQ and the U.S. EPA. These tasks include 1) networked NH3 and HCl observations, 2) particulate chloride spatial distributions, and 3) mobile real-time NH3 assessments.

  • Principal Investigators: Randal S. Martin (USU), Kerry Kelly (UU), Jaron Hansen (BYU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Grant: $210,000
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Wood Burning Stove Photo by Donna Kemp Spangler

Aethalometer Study for Estimating Compliance
with Wood-burning Ban

The University of Utah Department of Chemical Engineering will collaborate with UDAQ to estimate the contributions of wood burning to wintertime PM2.5 levels using aethalometer data from four locations and from mobile aethalometer measurements. The goal of this study is to identify and understand levels of wood burning and compliance with wood-burning restrictions during the winter of 2018/2019.

  • Principal Investigator: Kerry Kelly (UU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Grant: $30,000
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VOC Emissions

Composition of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Oil and Gas Wells in the Uinta Basin

The Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) is leading a new effort to improve estimates of the speciation of organic compound emissions from Uinta Basin oil and gas wells. Utah State University (USU) will work with UDAQ to collect and analyze pressurized gas and liquid samples from oil and gas well separators, as well as conduct data processing and analysis.

  • Principal Investigators: Seth Lyman, Trang Tran (USU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Grant: $30,358
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Air Monitor

Bountiful City Dichloromethane and Formaldehyde Source Apportionment Study

A source apportionment campaign, with an emphasis on determining the source of dichloromethane in Bountiful City, will be conducted between December 2018 and January 2019. Supporting measurements of PM2.5 concentration and composition will be provided as part of this effort.

  • Principal Investigators: Kerry Kelly (UU), Jaron Hansen (BYU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Grant: $80,067
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Car Exhaust Photo from Unsplash Matt Boitor

Ammonia Emission Assessment from Diesel and Gasoline Engines under Utah Specific Conditions

To better understand the contribution of automobiles to Utah ammonia emissions, tailpipe ammonia (NH3) measurements will be taken in laboratory and on-road settings for an array of diesel and gasoline vehicles representative of Utah’s vehicle fleet.

  • Principal Investigators: Randal S. Martin (USU), Joe Thomas (UDAQ), John Sohl (WSU)
  • Funded for: $59,958
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