Large-Scale Application of PM2.5 Source Identification and Control, with an Emphasis on Health Impacts

EPA Grant Number: F13B10143
Title: Large-Scale Application of PM2.5 Source Identification and Control, with an Emphasis on Health Impacts
Investigators: Ivey, Cesunica
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: August 18, 2014 through August 18, 2016
Project Amount: $84,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Environmental Engineering


In recent studies, such adverse health effects as worsening of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases have been linked to human exposure to ambient fine particulate matter, or particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns or less. Sources of fine particulate matter include diesel and gasoline-powered engines, solvent and metal industries, power plants, agricultural activities and biomass burning. This research project will investigate which particulate matter sources have the greatest impact on ambient particulate matter concentrations over the continental United States.


A multistep data assimilation approach will be implemented to generate estimates of PM2.5 source impacts. A chemical transport model will be used to simulate PM2.5 concentrations and source impacts for 20 unique source categories over the continental United States for a 5-year period (2005–2009). The results will be assimilated with ground- and satellite-based observations of PM2.5 using a novel nonlinear optimization approach. Other model inputs include national emissions estimates of PM2.5 and meteorological observations.

Expected Results:

PM2.5 source impacts will be identified for the years 2005–2009 over the continental United States with 36-km spatial resolution. Spatial trends will be determined for the United States for nine climate regions (e.g., southeast, northwest, Ohio River Valley, upper plains, etc.), as different regions are affected by different sources. Temporal trends will be analyzed for each region, such as weekday, weekend, holiday and seasonal trends. This work will provide a detailed assessment of the source impacts on fine particulate matter for the United States.

Potential to Further Environmental/Human Health Protection

The results of this work can be used in epidemiological studies that seek to determine correlations between human exposure to ambient particulate matter and the development or worsening of adverse health conditions. This work will aid policy makers determine which particulate matter sources are of greatest concern at the local and regional scales.

Supplemental Keywords:

air pollution, data assimilation, source apportionment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2015
  • Final