NOx Control: Technology Development and Environmental Analysis

EPA Grant Number: U914740
Title: NOx Control: Technology Development and Environmental Analysis
Investigators: Chess, Karen L.
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1995 through January 1, 1996
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering


The objective of this research is to explore both the technology and policy aspects of ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) compliance in the Northeast, with particular attention given to NOx control.


Ozone, a key ingredient in photochemical smog, is formed in the troposphere from nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). It is one of six criteria pollutants regulated under Title I of the Clean Air Act. The regulation comes in the form of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) which dictates that the 3-year average number of days per year that the peak one-hour ozone concentration exceeds 0.12 ppm at any location must be less than or equal to one. This standard is routinely violated, with 98 areas classified in non-attainment in 1990. As required by the Act, states must prepare state implementation plans (SIPs) that outline the types of NOx and VOC emission control programs they will use to comply with the ozone standard. In addition, the 1990 Amendments established an ozone transport region in the northeastern United States governed by the Ozone Transport Commission. The Commission can recommend regionwide controls it considers necessary for compliance across the area. Thus, in the Northeast, compliance is recognized as a regional problem, and states will have to consider both the local and downwind effects of their compliance strategies. The design of these compliance strategies depends on predictions of expected air quality under alternative plans and control technology costs and limitations, as well as many other factors.


This research will explore both the technology and policy aspects of ozone NAAQS compliance in the Northeast, with particular emphasis on NOx control. In the area of technology development, two experiments are included in the thesis to investigate NOx reduction from stationary combustion sources using ammonia injection. In particular, a new plasma injection technique is being developed that has many advantages over current technologies used to treat utility and industrial boiler flue gases. In the area of environmental analysis, the dissertation includes two studies of the ozone NAAQS compliance problem in the Northeast that are both timely and innovative, and a third study that proposes the use of quality engineering paradigms in policy analysis. All work will be conducted at Carnegie Mellon University, with Prof. Shi-Chune Yao acting as the primary advisor, particularly on the technology development projects. A timetable for completion appears at the end of the following dissertation description.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, ozone, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, technology, policy analysis, nitrogen oxide control, NOx, nitrogen oxides, NAAQS, air pollution, flue gases, stationary combustion sources, ammonia injection, plasma injection., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Waste, INDUSTRY, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, air toxics, Air Pollutants, Chemicals, Chemistry, HAPS, Industrial Processes, Incineration/Combustion, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Nox, Nitrogen Oxides, combustion byproducts, NOx reduction, combustion emissions, air pollution control, VOC removal, ammonia injection, plasma injection, combustion technology, combustion, VOC emission controls, nitrogen oxides (Nox), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), exhaust, catalytic combustion, VOC treatment, air quality

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final