Category: Science for Solutions Current & Ongoing Studies

Current & Ongoing Studies

Improving Volatile Organic Compound Emission Estimates for the Uintah Basin

This study builds on last year’s effort to improve the speciation of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from oil and gas wells in the Uintah Basin. Better speciation profiles will yield a better emission inventory for the basin and will help focus emission reduction strategies.

  • Principal Investigators: Trang Tran, Huy Tran (USU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $40,000
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PM2.5 Graph

Characterizing Air Quality Impacts from Exceptional Events along the Wasatch Front

This study, led by researchers at BYU, will use particulate matter (PM) sampling to identify regional dust sources that impact local air quality and public health, as well as model how dust sources might change in the future.

  • Principal Investigators: Dr. Greg Carling (BYU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $150,000
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Model Map Graphic

Improving WRF/CMAQ Model Performance using Satellite Data Assimilation Technique for the Uintah Basin

This study will test if satellite observations of vegetation and land use can be used to improve photochemical model performance in the Uintah basin. An improved model will help inform emission reduction strategies and regulatory action.

  • Principal Investigators: Huy Tran, Trang Tran (USU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $38,392
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Inversion Photo by Aaron Gustafson

Investigating Sources of Ammonia Uncertainty in Modeling the Salt lake City PM2.5 Nonattainment Area

This study will investigate the existing emission inventory of ammonia (NH3) sources and compare modeled NH3 concentrations to those observed during recent field studies in order to identify and correct missing NH3 sources. In addition to improving the inventory, this study will add new NH3 emission pathways to the photochemical model.

  • Principal Investigators: Chris Emery (Ramboll), Randal S. Martin (USU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $86,396
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Red Butte Canyon Graph

The Red Butte Canyon Air Mass Exchange and Pollution Transport Study

The University of Utah will make measurements of vertical wind and aerosol profiles, as well as ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon in order to better understand air exchange in the Salt Lake Valley during wintertime PM2.5 events.

  • Principal Investigators: Sebastian W. Hoch, Erik T. Crosman (UU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $34,965
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The Red Butte Canyon Ozone Network:
Leveraging Existing Infrastructure to Probe Background Concentrations, Canyon Flows, and Stratospheric Oxidant Exchange

This study will deploy a number of ozone sensors at different distances up Red Butte Canyon to better understand natural gradients in ozone and how phenomena like large thunderstorms and valley drainage flows contribute to ozone concentrations in the Salt Lake Valley.

  • Principal Investigators: Logan Mitchell, Ryan Bares, David Eiriksson (UU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $39,833
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Jordan Narrows Map

Jordan Narrows Gap Ammonia Transport Study

This study will provide key meteorological support for the chemistry observations taken during the upcoming 2018-­-2019 winter season that are focused on the ammonia transport and air mass exchange between the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys.

  • Principal Investigators: Sebastian W. Hoch, Erik Crosman (UU)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Grant: $19,510
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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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