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Extramural Research

Simulations of the Emission, Transport, Chemistry and Deposition of Atmospheric Mercury in the Upper Gulf Coast Region

EPA Grant Number: R831276C012
Subproject: this is subproject number 012 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant CR831276
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)
Center Director: Ho, Tho C.
Title: Simulations of the Emission, Transport, Chemistry and Deposition of Atmospheric Mercury in the Upper Gulf Coast Region
Investigators: Lin, Jerry , Chu, Hsing-wei , Ho, Tho C.
Institution: Lamar University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2004
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center (Lamar University) (1996)
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Description:

Objective:

Mercury (Hg) is one of the hazardous air pollutants regulated by USEPA. It is emitted into the atmosphere from a variety of anthropogenic (4000 tons/yr) and natural (2000 tons/yr) sources. According to recent mass balance studies, the levels of atmospheric mercury have been tripled in the past century, predominantly caused by the increased anthropogenic emissions. Recent measurements reported that the background levels of mercury range from l to 3 ng/m3, with elevated concentrations near the emission sources. Due to the concerns of mercury contamination and its adverse health effects to humans, there is a research need to better understand the emission, transport, chemistry and deposition of mercury in the atmosphere. However, the diverse interactions between various mercury species and the atmospheric environment are usually complex and nonlinear. Therefore, it requires sophisticated modeling tools to adequately address the fate of atmospheric mercury.

Specifically, the following research objectives will be achieved:
1. To establish multi-scale modeling platforms for atmospheric mercury in the Upper Gulf Coast Region;
2. To compile the mercury emission inventory using the national toxic emission inventory data (NEI99 for HAPs), Toxic Release Inventory (TRI 2000), and other point/area source emission factors;
3. To develop mercury chemistry modules in both gaseous phase and atmospheric droplets;
4. To implement the mercury chemistry modules in CMAQ modeling;
5. To simulate dynamically the emission, transport, chemistry and deposition of atmospheric mercury in the model domains, including the impact of mercury emission control on the mercury budget in the ambient air of the region, and
6. To investigate the behavior and assess the contamination pathways of atmospheric mercury using the comprehensive modeling approach in CMAQ.

Approach:

EPA's Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Modeling System is a multiscale, flexible, comprehensive air quality model formulated for the simulations of multiple air pollutants including ozone, PM and air toxins. CMAQ implements a "one-atmosphere" concept and state-of-the-science algorithms to dynamically simulate the physical and chemical processes of air pollutants. It outputs the concentration and deposition rate of the pollutants of interest in the specified model domains. Although complex and computationally intensive, CMAQ serves as a great modeling tool to address a wide variety of air quality issues. In this study, we propose to investigate the behavior and assess the contamination pathways of atmospheric mercury using the CMAQ modeling system. The model domains will cover the upper Gulf Coast Region where favorable environmental conditions exist for mercury study, and potentially large mercury emission persists due to the heavy industrial activities.

Expected Results:

The proposed research will address the fate of atmospheric mercury, a priority hazardous air pollutant regulated by EPA, in the Upper Gulf Coast Region. This research is also a pioneering effort to establish the capability of modeling hazardous air pollutants in the State of Texas for potential future regulatory modeling. The results of this research will yield significant implications for mercury emission control strategy in the region. The PIs of this project have extensive track records for mercury research and have established the CMAQ modeling capability for ozone and PM at Lamar University. This research project will further advance the capability to the modeling of hazardous air pollutants in Texas.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 8 publications for this subprojectView all 64 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 4 journal articles for this subprojectView all 18 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Geographic Area, Waste, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Air Quality, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Monitoring/Modeling, Hazardous Waste, Environmental Monitoring, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, Gulf of Mexico, emission control strategies, fate and transport, hazardous waste treatment, atmospheric dispersion models, mercury, fate and transport , emissions monitoring, HAPS, hazardous air pollutants, emissions, modeling, emissions inventory, particulate matter mass, emission control, air pollution control technology, air emissions, atmospheric mercury chemistry, monitoring inorganic chemicals, aerosol analyzers, atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric deposition, mercury vapor

Progress and Final Reports:
2004 Progress Report


Main Center Abstract and Reports:
CR831276    Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R831276C001 DNAPL Source Control by Reductive Dechlorination with Fe(II)
R831276C002 Arsenic Removal and Stabilization with Synthesized Pyrite
R831276C003 A Large-Scale Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Ethanol on Groundwater Contamination
R831276C004 Visible-Light-Responsive Titania Modified with Aerogel/Ferroelectric Optical Materials for VOC Oxidation
R831276C005 Development of a Microwave-Induced On-Site Regeneration Technology for Advancing the Control of Mercury and VOC Emissions Employing Activated Carbon
R831276C006 Pollution Prevention through Functionality Tracking and Property Integration
R831276C007 Compact Nephelometer System for On-Line Monitoring of Particulate Matter Emissions
R831276C008 Effect of Pitting Corrosion Promoters on the Treatment of Waters Contaminated with a Nitroaromatic Compounds Using Integrated Reductive/Oxidative Processes
R831276C009 Linear Polymer Chain and Bioengineered Chelators for Metals Remediation
R831276C010 Treatment of Perchlorate Contaminated Water Using a Combined Biotic/Abiotic Process
R831276C011 Rapid Determination of Microbial Pathways for Pollutant Degradation
R831276C012 Simulations of the Emission, Transport, Chemistry and Deposition of Atmospheric Mercury in the Upper Gulf Coast Region
R831276C013 Reduction of Environmental Impact and Improvement of Intrinsic Security in Unsteady-state
R831276C014 Integrated Chemical Complex and Cogeneration Analysis System: Greenhouse Gas Management and Pollution Prevention Solutions
R831276C015 Improved Combustion Catalysts for NOx Emission Reduction
R831276C016 A Large-Scale Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Ethanol on Groundwater Contamination
R831276C017 Minimization of Hazardous Ion-Exchange Brine Waste by Biological Treatment of Perchlorate and Nitrate to Allow Brine Recycle
R831276C018 Integrated Chemical Complex and Cogeneration Analysis System: Greenhouse Gas Management and Pollution Prevention Solutions

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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